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FORTY YEARS OF A 
SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 



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L9/au^c^ ~^Ai(^^^riA^^/i^(^/^ '^yteJ^/-a^97yy^ 



FORTY YEARS OF A 
SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 



SIR CLAUDE CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY 

BART. 



ILLUSTRATED 



MILLS & BOON, LIMITED 

49 RUPERT STREET 

LONDON. W 



V/tTAj 



Published 1910 



PREFACE 

Some fourteen years ago I pubHshed a volume of 
memoirs, in the compiling of which I had the kind 
assistance of the Duke of Beaufort and Mr. G. A. B. 
Dewar. It having been suggested to me that I 
have run through a good many experiences since 
then, I have been tempted to venture into print 
once more, and the result is the present volume. 
A portion of the former book, which deals with my 
earlier experiences, has naturally been retained, 
but, with the assistance of Mr. Harold Simpson, it 
has been thoroughly revised and brought up to 
date, and I have added another fourteen years of 
sport and adventure by land, sea, and air. If any 
apology is needed, I offer it here. 

C. DE C. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I 

PiQE 

My Sporting Career begins .... 1 



CHAPTER II 

Sport and Sportsmen 30 

CHAPTER III 
Fox-hunting and other Delights ... 59 

CHAPTER IV 
Mostly Steeplechasing 82 

CHAPTER V 
Some Ballooning Experiences . . . .122 

CHAPTER VI 

More Steeplechasing 160 

vii 



viii CONTENTS 



CHAPTER VII 

PAGE 

A Tmr to Florida 185 



CHAPTER VIII 

To Egypt and Back again 214 

CHAPTER IX 

More Sport in Spain 241 

CHAPTER X 
The Boer War 256 

CHAPTER XI 
Fighting and Sport in East Africa . . .276 

CHAPTER XII 

Racing by Land and Air 306 



FORTY YEARS OF A 
SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

CHAPTER I 

MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 

THOUGH my early sailoring days can perhaps 
hardly be said to be part and parcel of my 
*' forty years " of life as a sportsman, I should like 
to record the fact that I did actually begin my career 
in the Navy ; and there are a few incidents in con- 
nection with those times which may not be without 
interest to the rising generation of sailors. 

My first ship was the now obsolete Warrior. I 
went on board her in 1862, when she made her first 
trip across the Bay of Biscay, and it is worthy of 
mention that she was the first ironclad that ever 
went to sea. Cochrane was the captain of the ship, 
and Tryon, whose tragic but splendid end on the 
Victoria must long remain fresh in the pubhc memory, 
the commander. Even at that early period in his 
career Tryon was thought very highly of, and marked 
out for certain and speedy promotion. 

From the Warrior I was presently transferred to 
the Edgar, a two-decker, carrying the flag of Admiral 

1 



2 FOETY YEAES OF A SPOETSMAN'S LIFE 

Sir S. C. Dacres. We hung awhile about the West 
Indies, then on to Halifax, avoiding Bermuda as we 
had yellow fever on board. 

Whilst cruising about the North American station, 
our headquarters being Halifax, we saw a little, and 
heard more, of blockaders and blockade runners. 
There were some smart devices practised on more 
than one occasion by the runners in order to get their 
cargoes in. One of the cleverest tricks I can recollect 
took place at Charlestown Harbour. A little runner 
wanted to unload the cargo, composed of quinine, 
etc., she had on board. To do this she would have 
to pass a line of watchful blockaders, an apparently 
impossible task. One of the blockaders on her star- 
board bow, suspecting mischief, showed a red light, 
and the runner at once popped a shot into the same. 
At the same time the blockader on her port bow 
showed a blue hght. She treated that in the same 
style, and then steamed between the two blockaders, 
leaving them firing at one another. 

At another time a runner was desperately anxious 
to pass a blockader at, I think, Saint Thomas's. 
Now the blockader was not able to tackle the runner 
in the harbour, as it was under British protection ; 
but directly the runner moved the blockader would 
of course pursue, and presently attack her. The 
captain of the runner, being in these difficult straits, 
asked the captain of one of our ships what he had 
better do to evade the blockader. The advice was to 
burn some damp hay which was on board the runner, 
and so pretend to be getting up steam for a start. 
This was done, and the blockader promptly began 
to burn coal. Presently her supphes ran short, and 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 3 

she had to send a boat ashore to get some more. 
Instantly the runner departed on her way, rejoicing 
at this completely successful ruse. The blockader 
gave chase, but had to stop steaming before she was 
hull down. 

The Northerners were very eager to receive efficient 
seamen gunners, and not a little difficulty was experi- 
enced in keeping our men from deserting, as the pay 
and bonus offered were most tempting. A good 
many men did succeed in getting away and joining 
the American naval force. 

I allowed my men occasionally to go ashore, on 
the understanding that they would not overstay 
the short time allowed them, and would refrain 
from taking a glass too much. Once one of them 
came back obviously the worse for drink. I pointed 
out that he would be the means of getting me into 
trouble. The other men were furious at his conduct, 
and asked to be allowed to settle him themselves. 
I never inquired what course they took, but had a 
very shrewd suspicion that he got something like 
four dozen. 

The late King Edward, then Prince of Wales, had 
a narrow escape of being killed when he came on 
board the Sultan, on which ship I was at that time 
a visitor, to lunch, and to see afterwards the working 
of a new gun. 

With one or two other people I was standing by, 
a spectator of the incident. The Prince had been 
watching the working of the gun, and just as he 
turned round to ask some question of Captain Van- 
sittart concerning the cost of each discharge, the 
windlass took charge, and the handle flying round 



4 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

with frightful velocity only just missed his Royal 
Highness's head. If he had been a foot nearer it 
is not conceivable that he could have escaped. He 
must have been killed on the spot. 

This took place in Portland Harbour. There was 
a very nasty sea on at the time ; but it did not deter 
the Prince from going the round of several other 
vessels lying near by. He was anxious not to hurt 
the feelings of the other officers, and so put himself 
to this considerable discomfort. Verily the lines of 
royalty are not always laid in pleasant places. 

I recollect meeting Lord Charles Beresford on this 
occasion on board the Sultan. When he saw me he 
cried out, what was I doing there ? He thought 
I had left the Navy for good. I told him I had 
joined the Sultan in the capacity of Chaplain and 
Naval Instructor. " Good Lord ! " exclaimed Charley, 
who is always ready with a reply, " why didn't you 
join as Ship's Cook ? You'd at any rate have got 
more to eat that way." 

Charley Beresford, though full of good nature, is 
bad to rub up the wrong way. Once he was driving 
a drag with several ladies in it home from some races 
— I forget where. Two or three offensive fellows in 
a dog-cart shot peas at the ladies. Charley bided his 
time. Presently it came. He managed very skil- 
fully to lock the wheel of his coach in that of the 
dog-cart. Then, sublimely regardless of remon- 
strances, he bore doggedly to the right till the dog- 
cart was precipitated with its occupants into a deep 
ditch. Charley drove on as though nothing had 
happened. 

Beresford and myself, I may explain, had been 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 5 

fellow cadets a good few years before this incident. 
We were on the training ship Britannia together in 
the beginning of the Sixties. I cannot say that in 
those days our now perhaps foremost and certainly 
widely popular sailor gave any clear indications of 
the greatness which he was to attain to by-and-by. 
But I do recollect that he was then, as always, a 
spirited and plucky fellow. Like Marcus, and myself 
too, I rather fancy he has been in — well, in two or 
three " mills " since those days ! 

It is over forty years since I rode and won my 
first steeplechase. 

Looking back across the vista of years, I really 
begin to think that I must be getting an old fogey. 
The fingers of one hand are more than enough to 
reckon up the cross-country men, amateur and 
professional, who were riding with me then and who are 
riding now. Nor is this astonishing when one con- 
siders that the steeplechasing careers of most men 
are compressed into about half a dozen years. Few 
jockeys, at any rate, either on the flat or across 
country, beginning like myself at twenty, have ridden 
after their fortieth year ; and fewer still looked 
forward in their sixty-fourth year to riding and 
winning a few more good races on any mount and 
over any course within the next two or three seasons. 
Though often taking exception to my luck in various 
matters, I must say that the fates have been very 
lenient to me in regard to steeplechasing. Only I 
wish I had not been denied winning the Grand 
National. Once or twice I have seemed within 
measurable distance of success, and each time have 
been foiled through an unexpected mishap. 



6 FOKTY YEAES OF A SPOETS]\iAN'S LIFE 

Perhaps the first thing which it occurs to any man 
at all conversant with horse-racing to ask, when he 
hears that you have been riding for getting on to- 
wards half a century, is " How on earth have you 
done it ? '' The question has been put to me many 
scores of times within the last few years. People who 
are acquainted with my racing career are sometimes 
more puzzled at the way in which I have continued 
to ride than those who know little about the noble 
sport of steeplechasing. They know that I accept 
mounts which I may never have seen or heard of 
before, and often at the shortest notice ; and also 
that I am willing, as a rule, to ride in all weathers. 
That any man can keep up this kind of thing for 
nearly half a century seems scarcely credible even 
to those who are perfectly aware that it is being 
done. 

I attribute my success in being able to ride for 
such a great length of time without getting knocked 
up, almost entirely to the fact that I have always 
kept myself at all seasons of the year in condition. 

By constantly keeping myself in training, and 
" hard as nails," I have been enabled not only to 
ride into my sixty-fourth year, but also to shake off 
the effects of ugly-looking mishaps in what has ap- 
peared a phenomenally short time. In ballooning 
accidents too I have found the same thing obtains. 
An ordinary accident on the racecourse or elsewhere 
is to my mind serious or the reverse in proportion 
as the body is in perfect condition or otherwise. 

How many more lives a jockey may be expected 
to have than a man out of training seemed to me 
admirably expressed by a doctor on a racecourse not 



MY SPOETING CAREER BEGINS 7 

long since. He had been attending a rider who had 
just had a nasty-looking spill. Said a spectator, 
" I suppose he will die ? " " Oh dear, no," was the 
reply ; " he's a jockey." 

My first steeplechase was the South of Ireland 
Mihtary in the spring of 1867. I was serving at the 
time with my regiment, the 60th, which was quartered 
in the south of Ireland, and helping to suppress the 
Fenian outbreak. These steeplechases were organ- 
ized by the 12th Lancers, then commanded by that 
famous old soldier Colonel Oakes, and a rather droll 
incident in connection with them is worth recalling. 
I was walking with one of the officers of the 12th 
shortly before the day of the steeplechasing, when 
a man came up and thanked us for the pleasure 
which he had derived from seeing the horses run. 
" A capital day's sport," was his verdict. My com- 
panion was mystified. The steeplechasing, he 
objected, had not yet taken place. It then tran- 
spired that the regimental grooms and servants had 
taken all the horses of the 12th out on the preceding 
day, and tried them over the course at the distances 
they would have to run, and at the weights they 
would have to carry — a bit of enterprise which has 
probably never been ecKpsed by those who lay 
themselves out to make money by backing horses. 
I don't know whether the bookmakers got wind of 
this extraordinary proceeding ; if they didn't, it is 
at least conceivable that they had rather a bad time 
when the actual steeplechasing came ofi ! 

The race, however, in which I had a mount, and 
enjoyed my first triumph, could not have been gauged 
by the regimental grooms as nicely as one or two of 



8 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

the others. My mount — Maid of the Mist — was not 
available for these trials, as I was looking after her 
myself. Maid of the Mist, so called because she 
was one of three up in a celebrated run in Leicester- 
shire on a misty day, belonged to Major Watts 
Russell. I was my own trainer, as I have often been 
since, and the day before the race went carefully 
over the course. To neglect this precaution is to 
show oneself deficient in the A B C of riding, whether 
on the flat or across country. George Fordham 
used to attach the greatest importance to it, and 
so do many other leading jockeys of the present time. 
It is scarcely too much to say, that a rider who 
thoroughly knows his course enjoys as great an 
advantage over those who are ignorant of it, as does 
a billiard-player who knows the table when pitted 
against one who has never played a hundred up on 
it before. A jockey should endeavour to sound his 
course, and find out its strong and weak spots, as a 
careful batsman or bowler does his pitch. In some 
of the rougher and more rotten courses I have spent 
many an hour in searching for a sheep-track, and 
where the search has been successful, have been 
materially assisted by sticking to it as much as 
possible during the race. " A Mad Rider " is the 
title with which I have been honoured many and 
many a time. Possibly, if the title be deserved, 
in this habit of carefully examining my ground lies 
the method of my madness. It may be added, that 
in flat racing also it is desirable to avoid rotten 
places, and this can only be done by examining the 
course very carefully before the race. 
Maid of the Mist started about a hundred to one 




' BAY " MIDDLETON. 
{From " Vanity Fair.") 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 9 

against, so that my first mount was a decidedly 
*' dark horse." It was not thought that she would 
negotiate the stone walls, to which she was strange, 
and moreover, there was no particular reason to feel 
great confidence in her rider. But I knew my ground 
and my mount, and so started with high hopes. My 
most dangerous opponent was none other than 
" Bay " Middleton, whose death some years back 
was the cause of such sincere regret to a wide circle 
of friends and admirers. " Bay " made a fatal 
mistake in the race, which I pointed out to him after- 
wards. He took it out of his horse over a bit of 
nasty boggy ground. Noting this, I let him forge 
twenty or perhaps thirty lengths ahead till the swamp 
was passed : then overtook him, and won by a 
length. Very few people can say that they ever 
beat " Bay " Middleton through any blunder of his 
in horsemanship. As all the world knows, he was 
one of the most accomplished horsemen of his day, 
specially excelling perhaps in the hunting-field. 

" Bay " was a man who rarely threw away a 
race through carelessness. I recollect an amusing 
*' squeak " which occurred early in his racing career, 
and which may have proved of after-service to him. 
He was riding on a course near Macroom, when 
everything connected with steeplechasing was of 
course much more roughly done than nowadays. 
The carriage from which we were watching the race 
was drawn up by a post some little distance from 
the judge's box, and when " Bay " passed us, being 
then about three-quarters of a length to the good, 
he stopped riding, and Jack Gubbins went on per- 
severing to the winning-post a few lengths further 



10 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

on, but couldn't quite get up. I yelled out to " Bay " 
to go on, but even as a cornet his hearing was not 
over-good, and I might as well have shouted to his 
brow-band. After he had weighed in, and the " All 
right ! " announced, I got him by the arm and said, 
" Old man, you drew that a bit fine I " " Not a bit 
of it," replied he ; " why, it must have been a good 
three-quarter length." " Where did you finish ? " 
I queried. " Why there, of course," he answered, 
pointing to where he had stopped riding. " I know 
you did, but do you see what it is ? " " Oh, by 
Jove ! " he cried out, amazed ; " why, it's a tele- 
graph post ! " 

" Bay " had one serious fault as a rider. He 
almost invariably spurred his horse in the shoulder, 
being apparently imable to sit his horse without 
turning his toes out. He ought not to have had any 
rowels. Many people must have noticed the con- 
dition of some of his mounts after a hard race or run, 
and indeed a friend once remarked to me of a horse 
that had been spurred in this manner by some rider 
or other, that it looked as if it had been ridden by 
" Bay " Middleton. 

Watts Russell sold Maid of the Mist after this win 
for double the sum he had paid for her not long 
before the race. He himself lost his life some years 
afterwards in a race at Cawnpore, which a horse 
of mine named Rockwood won. The South of Ireland 
Military is the only steeplechase in which I have 
ever ridden in the distressful country. The fact 
was, we were in the midst of the Fenian rebellion, 
and had therefore little time for sport. I left for 
India moreover shortly afterwards with my regiment. 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 11 

Cawnpore was a fatal spot for poor Watts Russell. 
On one occasion he fell in a steeplechase there, and 
had concussion of the brain, which compelled him to 
come home to England on sick leave. Then on 
another occasion he dislocated his knee-cap after he 
had returned thither from England. Finally, riding 
far sooner than he ought to have done after this 
accident, he met by his death on the same course. 
His horse went sideways, he had no strength to keep 
it straight, lost all control, and came by his end. I 
am not particularly superstitious, but an extra- 
ordinary fatality does seem to pursue some people 
in connection with certain places and times. 

I have referred to Colonel Oakes as the famous 
soldier who commanded the 12th in those days. He 
made it the smartest of cavalry regiments, though, 
curiously enough, he himself was the shabbiest and 
most slouching of officers. There never was a 
tougher old soldier than Oakes, and in my opinion 
he was far and away, Baker perhaps excepted, the 
best cavalry officer of his day ; in fact one is some- 
times inclined to think that he and Baker have never 
been equalled. On one occasion Oakes incurred the 
momentary displeasure of an illustrious Duke, who 
called him a fool (with an epithet before it) on parade. 
Afterwards the Duke generously withdrew the words. 
" Oh," replied Oakes, " I don't mind, sir, your 
calling me a d — d fool ; only I don't like being called 
a d — d fool before all those other d — d fools," point- 
ing to the Staff. 

At another time the same soldier, coming to see 
the 12th Lancers at their dinners, found them, to 
his great surprise, in their shirt-sleeves. He asked 



12 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

for an explanation, and Oakes replied, " You didn't 
suppose, sir, I was going to tell my men you were 
coming down to-day ! If I had they would have 
been in a shilly-shallying funk, and would have de- 
voted their time to their accoutrements instead of 
their horses. Now, sir, you see us as we are every 
day of our lives/' 

The Fenians were for the most part cowardly 
brutes. A favourite Fenian method of attack and 
defence was to put the women in front and then 
fling stones at the military over their heads. But 
they were not a great deal more cowardly than some 
of the magistrates before whom they were dragged, 
often enough red-handed. The latter were afraid 
to do anything in cases where the guilt of the rebels 
was perfectly manifest. In one instance at Macroom 
several Fenians came out of court smiling trium- 
phantly over their acquittal. Oakes quite by him- 
self waited outside. The escape of these rebels 
would have exasperated him at any time, but their 
insolent mien was altogether too much for the old 
soldier. So he assisted each of them, as he issued 
from the court, with a good kick, growling out, 
" There's something for you to remember old Oakes 
by ! " 

Oakes was a rare campaigner : no sybarite he. 
Once he growled out in reply to the question, " Have 
you breakfasted ? " " Yes, I've had my three pipes 
of shag ; that's my breakfast to-day." It was 
smoking, I have heard, that had much to do with 
his fatal illness. 

As may be imagined, my short but sweet experi- 
ence in Ireland greatly whetted my appetite for 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 13 

steeplechasing, and upon arrival in India I soon 
settled down to ride in earnest. Unfortunately that 
" eternal want of pence," which, according to the 
poet, " vexes public men," militated a good deal 
against me, as I had at the time Httle more than 
my bare pay as an ensign in the Rifles. Yet I 
managed by hook or by crook to get a good many 
mounts, and to win a fair number of races. I never 
picked and chose, but rode any mortal thing that 
came to hand, and this rule I have followed ever 
since. 

It is hard to revert to my steeplechasing experi- 
ences in India without gleefully calling to mind two 
humorous incidents which can scarcely fail to appeal 
to people who attend race-meetings regularly in 
England, where all the proceedings are transacted 
in such a dignified and highly respectable manner. 
The judges had not in those days in India the nice 
appHances which, even in the case of a very close 
finish, make decisions comparatively simple in this 
country. As a consequence, Eastern racing verdicts 
used to be at times — well, rather unreHable. More- 
over, the judges themselves were not up to our stan- 
dard at home, being often selected from purely social 
considerations. It occasionally happened that the 
judge would form his decision on the advice of out- 
siders or even on some faint popular demonstration. 
Racing one afternoon at Lucknow in 1869, in a very 
bad light, I agreed with my opponent to have a little 
fun at the expense of the judge. I won the race by 
half a length, but on retiring to weigh in addressed 
my opponent as the winner, which so embarrassed 
the judge that he ordered the race to be run ofi next 



14 FORTY YEAES OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

day. This was done, and I again won. Imagine 
such a thing occurring in this country. 

There was another occasion at Cawnpore, when 
the judge was obviously on the point of giving a 
wrong verdict. Fortunately a friend of the real 
winner was standing hard by. Quick as thought he 
realized the position, and shouted out the right 
name in congratulatory tones. The judge, who had 
been somewhat confused by conversation with a 
spectator just as the horses were coming in, heard 
these words of congratulation, and promptly altered 
his opinion and decision. Nobody was more puzzled 
than the winner — myself — when my 'cute friend came 
up and said, " / won that race for you, old man ! " 

In India almost anything was deemed good enough 
for steeplechasing. How the critical crowd at San- 
down or Kempton would shake with laughter could 
they only see a dozen horses, such as we had often 
to ride in India, turn out on either of these courses. 
There were five breeds — first the country-bred, 
secondly the Arab, thirdly the " Walers," fourthly 
the Cape horses, and fifthly the English-bred. The 
last-named were few and far between. They were 
mostly brought over by a few wealthy civilians who 
were keen on sport. Naturally in handicaps, and 
weight for age and class races, there was often a great 
diversity in the weights. The English horses, though 
they did not as a rule stand the heat so well as any 
of the other breeds, were when " fit " facile 'princeps^ 
and it was therefore quite common to find them con- 
ceding not pounds, but stones, to the Arabs and 
natives. The " Walers " — so called because they 
came from New South Wales — were on. the whole 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 15 

the most useful horses for Indian steeplechasing. 
They stood the chmate capitally. 

I left for India in the autunui of 1867 and returned 
in the spring of 1870, so that in all — though I com- 
menced riding directly I arrived there, and did not 
draw rein till it was time to come back — I had only 
about two seasons of steeplechasing and flat racing. 
The biggest thing I rode in and won was the Cawn- 
pore Steeplechase on February 27, 1869. It could 
have been fairly described in those days as the Liver- 
pool of India. The course was a four-mile one, and 
the jumps on the whole about as stiff as they make 
them in any part of the world ; there were no regu- 
lation fences or ditches then, and we should as soon 
have looked for a nicely levelled take-off as for a 
straw-covered course. 

To win me this race I bought a mare called Baby 
Blake for a mere bagatelle. Baby Blake was a superb 
jumper when she did jump, but she usually fell some 
time in a race. Indeed so invariable was this habit 
of Baby Blake's, that even money was laid that she 
would fall. Her temper was so uncertain, that 
rumour had it she must always be trained by moon- 
light. However, I did not take much note of these 
tales against my purchase, but trained her myself in 
broad daylight, cantering for miles in the jungle. 
She started, despite her well-known jumping powers, 
an outsider. I secured the mare, by the way, by the 
merest chance, and indeed went to Cawnpore with 
the idea of riding another horse. It turned out a 
regular brute, with an action like a dromedary's, 
and fortunately went lame in its trial. I was then 
offered Baby Blake. 



16 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Amongst many Indian experiences, which, alas ! 
have so long since become " portions and parcels of 
the dreadful past,'" recalled not without a wrestle with 
the memory, this Cawnpore race stands out clear. 
I can remember with ease every incident of the race. 
The third fence, composed of a couple of high mud 
walls as hard as rocks, and in and out of a road, was 
the stiffest in the course. The whole field with one 
exception refused. Baby Blake alone cleared the 
fence, and that gave me a commanding lead which 
I never lost. She won by half a length, thanks in 
no small degree to a gallant sowar, who prevented 
me just in time from getting off the course. In this 
steeplechase I was fortunate enough to beat several 
of the best jockeys of the day in India, including a 
professional rider, who came in second on Happy 
Boy, and had been backed for a good deal of money. 

By a curious chance odds of 100 to 1 were offered 
against Baby Blake during the race, as they were 
against Maid of the Mist in the South of Ireland Mih- 
tary before the race. It fell about in this way. One 
of the jockeys — my friend St. Quentin — was wearing 
colours very similar to mine. At the second fence 
his horse fell ; whereupon there were bets freely 
offered of 100 to 1 against Baby Blake. One astute 
party, by the aid of a particularly good pair of field- 
glasses, perceived the error which the layers of odds 
had fallen into. He instantly snapped up the long 
odds, and made a small fortune out of my win. 

The mare, though a very excitable one, was a 
beautiful fencer when she chose. Whilst I had her, 
and before I had her, she never lost a race when she 
did not fall. I recollect once making a " double " 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 17 

like that at Punchestown. She simply flew it. The 
last I heard of Baby Blake was just before embarking 
at Bombay for England. She had then very recently 
won the Lucknow Steeplechase. 

A few days after the race at Cawnpore there was 
a big event at Meerut, and Baby Blake would have 
probably won that as well had it not been for her 
queer temper. No one had ever got a spear off her 
back, and as this was a sine qua non in the race in 
question, she could not quahfy for it. As I have 
already said, I missed no opportunity of riding in 
India. The majority of the horses I rode, both 
steeplechasing and on the flat, belonged to friends. 
Flat racing has never been exactly my metier, and, 
frankly, I consider it a much tamer sport on the whole 
than steeplechasing. At the same time I have now 
and then ridden on the flat in England, and frequently 
did so in India. One of the best horses I owned in 
India was Rockwood, which I bought from Colonel 
Robartes. Rockwood was certainly very speedy, 
far above the Indian average. 

The most sensational race I have ever won in my 
opinion, either at home or abroad, was on Rockwood, 
the occasion being the First Class Handicap at Luck- 
now in 1869, the queer ending of which has been 
referred to. I trained Rockwood, who was, like 
Baby Blake, a " Waler," on a right-handed course, 
and had to run him at Lucknow on a left-handed 
one. As a consequence he went clean out of the 
course. It was quite a business getting his head 
straight, and I recollect considering whether it was 
the slightest good to continue the race. Resolving 
to have a try, though it seemed quite hopeless, I got 

3 



18 FOETY YEAES OF A SPOETSMAN'S LIFE 

Eockwood back, started in pursuit of the rest, and 
eventually won by half a head. I was top weight — 
11 st. 7 lbs. — but the time for the mile was 1 minute 
57 seconds, a remarkable achievement considering 
the conduct of my mount. 

It is scarcely necessary to say, that none of the 
jockeys against whom I was pitted in India are 
riding to-day. One, however, who was riding at that 
time in India is still well to the fore in the English 
racing world — Lord Marcus Beresford. The best 
soldier-rider in India at the end of the Sixties was 
probably " Ben " Eoberts. Most racing men know 
*' Ben '' well enough by sight at race meetings near 
town at the present time, where he attends in his 
official capacity as an officer of the Metropolitan 
Police. Many too know him as a good fellow and 
a first-rate sportsman. In India " Ben " on his 
favourite mount Tomboy was always dangerous. 
Good judges never overlaid their book against that 
pair. 

Amongst other prominent riders of the day in India 
were Jousifie, Dignum, and Captain Soames. Of 
these Dignum was quite the foremost, and indeed 
the best at that time in India on the flat. He was 
one of the few men who could sit a regular buck- 
jumper such as occasionally turned up amongst the 
*' Walers." Without bursting the girths some of 
these animals could slip the saddle ofi clean over 
their heads. 

In his Indian days Jousif!e could waste to under 
9 st. The last time I saw him in England some years 
back he could scarcely have scaled less than eighteen. 
He is dead now, poor fellow ! 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 19 

Captain Joy and Lord Marcus Beresford ran a 
stud between them, and were pretty successful on 
the flat. To meet Marcus is rightly deemed a pleasure 
by all save those who are unfortunate enough to 
come into contact with his fists. But perhaps few 
people have ever derived such pleasure out of a 
meeting with him as I did one burning day in 1870. 
My brother and I had arranged to meet Marcus on 
that day on the road to Bombay, where his regiment 
was on the march, and we started by the railway 
from Allahabad. The line was not at the time quite 
completed, so we arranged to finish our journey on 
horseback. But before long my brother's horse 
dropped from sunstroke, and we were therefore com- 
pelled' to ride mine in turns. In order to economize 
time we did it in this way : first I would ride a mile, 
then tie up my horse and walk on till my brother, 
now mounted, overtook me ; then I would again ride 
whilst he followed on foot. In this way we got along 
at the very respectable rate of about six miles an hour. 
Marcus saw us coming, and started out to meet us 
with a flagon of delicious iced drink — an angel he 
seemed in earthly guise ! 

In both '68 and '69 we had the cholera with a 
vengeance in India. Thanks to a good constitution, 
I was able myself, while others were constantly getting 
invalided off to the hills, to face the demon with im- 
punity, and both years — without once taking a week's 
leave — saw the epidemic run its ghastly course. In 
sticking to my post, however, it may be admitted 
that I had to a certain extent an eye to business. 
An officer who managed to see the cholera through 
in this way might fairly reckon on getting leave later 



20 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

on for racing purposes. In one instance, during the 
cholera visitation in 1869, I actually had to do duty 
as chaplain, as the individual who ordinarily filled 
that post had, in common with most of the officers, 
made himself scarce for a while. On another occa- 
sion I was the acting adjutant and orderly officer. 
My colonel scolded me severely for coming out during 
the most deadly hours of the day, and remarked 
half seriously and half jocularly, " I shall put you 
under arrest, sir, if you do it again.'' Whereupon 
I pointed out as a deterrent, that I was the only 
officer fit for duty. " Well," said he discreetly, 
*' then I won't do so." 

Shortly after this 1869 visitation of the cholera I 
asked for leave in order to get away from Seetapore, 
where we were quartered, and take part in the races 
at Sonepore. I accordingly asked my colonel for a 
week's extension of my leave ; he quite approved, 
but had not the authority to give it. The general 
officer in command, namely, General Brooke Taylor, 
was the person who possessed the requisite authority. 
As it happened he was away tiger-shooting, and his 
place filled by a man who evidently burned to make 
his temporary power felt. The substitute promptly 
refused the necessary permission. I wired to my 
colonel to know whether leave had been granted. 
The reply came that it was refused. Regarding this 
as very shabby treatment after the way in which I 
had stuck to my post during the cholera, I felt justi- 
fied in mistaking the tenor of the telegram, and wired 
back thanks. I was just beginning to enjoy the 
leave of absence that had not been granted, when a 
fresh message arrived couched in a rather peremp- 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 21 

tory tone, and very reluctantly I had to return. 
Afterwards, when I mentioned the way in which I 
had been treated to General Brooke Taylor, he very 
handsomely expressed his regret, and declared that 
had he been at his post he would have granted the 
request himself without a moment's hesitation. 
Nevertheless the thing made me very sore, and, com- 
bined with the infamous terms of my father's will, 
had a good deal to do with my resolve, carried out 
a short time afterwards, to quit the service. 

My position at Lucknow on my way back from 
Sonepore was rather humorous in a way when I was 
in correspondence about my leave of absence. The 
Brigade Major urged me not to go on the course 
whatever I did, lest the General should put me under 
arrest ; and at the very same time an officer high in 
command sent me the message, " For goodness' sake 
don't show yourself on the course, for if you do the 
Brigade Major will put you under arrest ! " As I 
could not ride a horse of my own at Sonepore I asked 
a friend to do so, and drove up in a closed convey- 
ance to see him, so I fondly hoped, win the race. 
Instead I saw my horse bolt off, and disappear at 
length like a speck on the horizon. 

Once I ordered a breakfast against the Lahore 
Races which cost £6000. So at any rate declared so 
well-informed an organ as the Gaulois. The same 
paper volunteered the information that I was " worth 
millions of money," though content to occupy " the 
modest rank of an officer in the British Army.'* The 
breakfast included in the way of drinkables " eighty 
dozen bottles of champagne, eight hundred bottles 
of Bordeaux, eight hundred bottles of Burgundy," 



22 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

besides brandy ad lib. To cap this extraordinary 
tale I actually, according to the same authority, 
paid the bill ! The real facts about the " breakfast " 
were these. It was a picnic at Seetapore, at which 
about a dozen friends were present. After we had 
finished it was the bandsmen's turn. They certainly 
did themselves handsomely, drinking liqueur out of the 
finger-glasses. Afterwards the music they played 
was wild and wandering. 

In lieu of big game shooting and pig-sticking, 
which were rather too costly forms of amusement for 
me to combine with racing and chasing, I took very 
kindly to snipe-shooting. " Joe," alias Arthur Bagot 
of ours, was very keen on this sport, and between 
us we perhaps accounted for as many snipe as most 
guns in India during the two seasons we were shooting. 
We got to fancy ourselves so much that we chal- 
lenged any two officers in the regiment to back their 
breech- against our muzzle-loaders. But the challenge 
was not taken up. 

Another of my companions out sniping was 
Captain Thackwell of the 5th Lancers, a very popular 
soldier in India in those days. Well, I recollect a 
friendly httle bet Thackwell and I once had as to 
who would make the best bag in the day. We had 
actually tied when dayhght failed ; but on our way 
home in the dusk Thackwell by a piece of good luck 
got an unexpected shot, and knocked over his snipe. 
A kite swooped down and picked it up. Thackwell, 
who was unloaded, thought he alone had twigged 
what the bird of prey had done on my behalf. He 
slyly tried to say very casually, " I say, tickle up 
that kite, old fellow," but his anxiety was obvious 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 23 

enough. " Very well/' said I, suiting my action to 
his word ; " but of course the snipe will go to my 
bag," to which he could not very well demur. Poor 
chap, he was killed by a tiger a few days after, or 
rather died from the shock of an operation which 
had to be performed on him, owing to the terrible 
way in which he had been mauled in the jungle. 

In the old Oriental Sporting Magazine I came across 
the following, written evidently by one of his great 
friends — " Killed by a Tiger. In a foreign land 
far from his own country and his own people, but not 
from his friends, for he had many, died yesterday 
morning at Baraitch in Oude, from wounds inflicted 
by a tiger, Captain F. I. R. Thackwell, H.M.'s 5th 
Lancers — one of the finest of soldiers, a true-hearted 
Enghsh gentleman, and as thorough a sportsman as 
ever lived. The regiment can ill afford to lose such 
an officer, and to us that knew him such a friend. 
There are many far away in the old country who a 
very few months ago were sharing with him in the wild 
sports of India, who will not be ashamed to find 
their eyes wet, when they read the sad account of the 
death of one of the many good fellows whose resting- 
place is in this distant land, so far from many but 
not from all who loved him. Lucknow, June 25, 
1869." 

In India too I had occasional opportunities for 
pigeon shooting, a sport for which I had acquired 
a decided taste in Ireland. Shooting once in the 
distressful country, I was successful in dividing a 
good sweepstake with Colonel Chalmer, who then 
commanded one of our battalions. Much later on, 
and long after my return to England from India, 



24 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

I again tried my skill at pigeon shooting, and was 
rather successful in the Grand International at 
Brighton in 1886, though I had had no practice. At 
twenty-five, twenty-seven, and twenty-nine yards 
1 killed all my birds except one. The last pigeon I 
shot fell just out of bounds, so I had to rest content 
with third prize ; Vaughan and Blake being respec- 
tively first and second. My pigeon shooting, however, 
has been decidedly spasmodic, and since then I don't 
think that I have killed a bird over a trap in any 
important contest. 

The period during which I was stationed in India 
was a very interesting one from a military as well as 
a sporting point of view. In the end of the Sixties 
those three superb regiments, Probyn's Horse, 
Robartes' Horse, and Hodgson's Horse, were still in 
their prime. There are probably very few soldiers 
acquainted with those regiments who would declare 
that their disbandment — for such it practically was 
— worked wholly for the good of the service. Having 
seen more than a little of the regiments, and noted 
their unrivalled smartness and efiiciency, I have 
never doubted that it was sheer folly to do anything 
but encourage the system. Colonel Robartes never 
took the trouble to keep exact accounts of what he 
spent on his regiment. He was a rich man, and his 
generosity in the patriotic work of making Robartes' 
Horse the first cavalry force in the world knew no 
bounds. When he was called upon to render an 
exact account, he could not do so, and he was there- 
fore never repaid. It was no secret that the Govern- 
ment remained his debtor to an amount not far short 
of twenty thousand pounds. 



MY SPOETING CAREER BEGINS 25 

Colonel — now Sir Dighton — Probyn was the ideal 
man for a regiment such as he actually commanded. 
There was a glamour about his achievements in the 
Indian Mutiny which appealed irresistibly to every 
one, and made him in particular the idol of his men. 
The single-handed combats against the leading 
mutineers in which he had often engaged, and being 
a splendid swordsman always successfully, had a 
spice of old-world romance about them that made 
him one of the most interesting figures in the military 
history of the time — quite a modern Bayard. The 
picture of Lord Cardigan, the " rigid Hussar," as 
Kinglake has finely called him, leading his men down 
the valley of death at Balaclava, which we have all 
drawn in imagination, is scarcely a more stirring one 
than that of this most distinguished officer coming 
forth from the ranks as a warrior of old, and chal- 
lenging to personal combat the foeman most worthy 
of his steel. This it was that laid the solid founda- 
tions of Sir Dighton Probyn's fame. 

In recalling these Indian experiences I have found 
myself at a considerable disadvantage, owing to the 
fact that my diaries were destroyed some time 
since, so I may frankly confess that no mention has 
been made of the particulars of a good many races 
which I won, simply because they are not obtainable. 
Before leaving India, however, I ought to say some- 
thing about two of the most famous story-tellers — 
in the double sense — of that time. My memory 
certainly does not fail me in relation to Colonel Bagot 
— cousin to my friend Joe of that ilk — and Colonel 
Oakes, who must not be confused with the rough 
old leader of the 12th Lancers. 



26 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Both were in the Indian Army. Bagot was un- 
questionably a very fine shot at big game, but some 
of his accounts of sport seemed a trifle over-coloured 
even to the most credulous people. So much fun could 
be got out of him that he was often invited to dinners, 
etc., simply to amuse the company with his Mun- 
chausen tales. Once he was asked to the Govern- 
ment House on the of!-chance of his spinning some 
exceptionally fine yarns : nor did he disappoint. 
After the wine began to circulate Bagot got into great 
form, and told one story which perhaps eclipsed 
even Oakes' best efforts in the same field. He was 
very anxious, he related, to secm^e a pair of fine 
horns, and accordingly went out shooting. As good 
luck would have it, he speedily came across two 
magnificent stags, and shot them both. " Would 
you believe it ? " said Bagot, " at the very moment 
I dropped them right and left they shed their horns ! " 

A story which has been told in many ways of 
many people can be properly related in connection 
with Bagot. He once boasted to a friend about an 
exploit in snipe shooting, when he killed, so he said, 
forty-nine birds in as many shots. " Why not make 
it fifty while you are about it ? " inquired a cynical 
hstener. " Sir," quoth Bagot with befitting gravity, 
" do you suppose I would risk my immortal soul for 
the sake of a single snipe ? '' 

Bagot did not hide from the world how very 
shabbily he had been treated by the powers that be. 
During the Mutiny he had been put in command of 
a body of cavalry with instructions to attack certain 
villages. " By gad, sir, I carried out my instructions 
splendidly," he would say ; " we killed an enormous 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 27 

number of men, women, and children. Now, what 
do you think they did for me after that ? " His 
hearers, usually knowing well enough, would artfully 
run through a list of distinctions including the V.C. 
As each one was mentioned Bagot would shake 
his head vigorously. Then at length, the guesser 
having quite exhausted the list of possible distinc- 
tions, Bagot would declare in outraged tones, " Sir, 
I give you my word of honour they tried me by 
court-martial ! " 

Though a romancist, Bagot was a man of pluck 
and resource. Out tiger shooting, however, one day, 
he seems to have made a grave mistake. In the 
company of a friend he followed a wounded tiger 
into the jungle. His friend, the present Lord Downe, 
was suddenly attacked by the creature, and Bagot 
came to the rescue. Whereupon the tiger turned 
its attention to him, and seizing his leg, snapped it. 
Bagot 's life, I believe, was saved by the head shikari, 
who shot the beast as it mauled its victim. The 
rashness of following a womided tiger into the jungle 
has been cormnented on by several prominent big- 
game shooters. Captain Doig lost his life in this 
manner in 1868, and Sir J. Dormer, Commander-in- 
Chief at Madras, also followed a wounded animal, 
and received wounds which killed him. A man to 
follow a tiger under such circumstances cannot watch 
both front and flanks, which is obviously the work 
of three men, and a disaster is therefore very likely 
to take place. 

Strange and sad was poor Bagot's end. After 
this encounter, and when invalided home, he swore 
to return and have his revenge on the tigers. He 



28 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

did return, and set out into the jungle, taking with 
him two kinds of powders — arsenic for preparing the 
skins of the beasts he might shoot, and baking- 
powder for bread. He had not been out long before 
the servant confused the two powders, and the 
master took arsenic in his food by mistake. 

The " hen-coop tale " has been told in connection 
with various men, but there is reason to believe that 
Bagot is the real hero of it. As Bagot told the story, 
he was wrecked in the Indian Ocean, and managed 
to save himself by clinging to a hen-coop. After a 
while he became quite at home on the hen-coop, and 
made for Aden. He met a steamer on the way 
thither, and the captain offered to take him on board. 
Bagot asked where the steamer was going to, and 
the reply was Bombay. " But I am going to Aden, 
thanks," said Bagot, " so I'm afraid I must decline 
your kind offer." Thus they parted, Bagot merely 
accepting the loan of a few biscuits and some ship's 
rum to keep him going till Aden was reached. Once 
when Bagot was telling this adventure of his he 
ended up with, " Good fellow that captain ; I have 
never met him since." A naval man present thought 
he would take a rise out of him ; so he cut in with, 
" Give me your hand, sir ; I was that captain ! " 
Not for a moment at a loss, Bagot said, " Oh yes, 
old fellow, of course ! I had quite forgotten you ! 
I think you have grown your beard since then." 

Oakes must have got shockingly muddled about 
racing when in the early sixties he came home on 
leave of absence. He spoke to me about Rupee 
winning the Oaks. I rather fancied I knew some- 
thing about the subject, so ventured to take excep- 



MY SPORTING CAREER BEGINS 29 

tion to this statement. Oakes persisted, and offered 
to bet me a gold mohur he was right. I took the 
bet, and we then consulted the authorities. There 
we found that Rupee had won, not the Oaks, but 
the Ascot Cup, a vastly different affair. Oakes paid 
his bet and admitted his error, explaining that he 
had seen so much racing about that time that he had 
confounded Epsom with Ascot ! 

These two inveterate raconteurs were, by the way, 
popularly represented as being rather afraid of one 
another. Each thoroughly recognized no doubt the 
other's reputation for wonderful tales. They accord- 
ingly avoided meeting as much as possible, and when 
it was said in the presence of Oakes, " By the way, 
Bagot's been invited," or, " By the way, shall we 
invite Bagot ? " he would reply, " Well, between 
you and me Bagot's the biggest liar in all India." 
Bagot for his part used to express himself quite as 
freely about Oakes. 



CHAPTER II 

SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 

t ARRIVED home from India in the spring of 
1870, and almost immediately afterwards left 
the service — to be precise, I retired from the Army 
on April 27th, 1870, having served with the 60th 
about four years. Before I had been back many 
weeks I planned out a little chasing for myself in 
the waning of the season. It happened that a meeting 
was being arranged at Childerditch, which is outside 
Lord Petre's place, Thorndon Park, close to Brent- 
wood. I secured a mare, which, in affectionate 
memory of my best Indian mount, was named Baby 
Blake. But she was a poor jade compared with the 
superb fencer on whom I won the great Cawnpore 
race, and could not carry my colours nearer victory 
than third place. My old friend and companion 
Billy White was riding that day. Billy was my first 
instructor in riding, and blooded me with the Essex 
and Suffolk Hounds, at the tender age of seven years. 
This Childerditch meeting was remarkable in more 
ways than one. I was boasting just now of having 
ridden for over forty years, and into my sixty-fourth 
year. But there rode at Childerditch, and rode 
bravely, a man of no less than seventy years of age, 
namely, Briant, a horse-dealer of repute in that 
part of the world. A steeplechaser of well over 

30 



SPOET AND SPOETSMEN 31 

seventy years of age seems to me at least as remark- 
able in his own province as a Prime Minister like 
Mr. Gladstone of over eighty. I should think that 
the case of Briant is almost unique, and have cer- 
tainly only heard of one other which at all compares 
with it, namely, that of Lord Buchan. I had it from 
Lord Buchan himself that he rode and won a race in 
the Isle of Wight after he had passed his seventieth 
year. After the race, however, he fell of! from utter 
exhaustion, whereas Briant was comparatively fresh. 

But Childerditch was remarkable in another, and 
much less creditable, respect. It was notorious that 
some of the most flagrant " ramping " on record 
took place at that meeting. In one race there were 
three horses running in the same interest. Now 
the order had undoubtedly been given to win with 
one of these horses, and that probably not the 
favourite. But the horse kept on refusing, and the 
jockeys on the other two horses didn't know what 
to do. They dared not come on, and so commenced 
falling all over the place in a pretty palpable manner. 
At this point a well-known dresser, who only died 
very recently, was observed by those who noticed 
what was proceeding to go down and give them 
the requisite directions. When he came back he 
very properly got his head punched for his trouble, 
though that no doubt he — or at any rate his gang 
of rascally associates — regarded as a detail. Lord 
Petre was greatly shocked at these scandalous 
proceedings, so much so that he actually took the 
extreme course of abolishing the meeting. 

This is one of the worst instances of swindling 
which has ever come under my notice throughout 



32 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

my racing and chasing career. Probably I have 
ridden at a good many meetings where foul play has 
been manifest to many experienced observers ; but 
the seamy side of horse-racing is always more likely 
to present itself to persons who have considerable 
financial interests at stake than to those who ride 
from sheer love of the sport. I have never made it 
my business to look very closely into these matters, 
except of course when they have obviously affected 
my chances of winning, because I have never gambled 
to any extent on horses. We most of us have an 
occasional side bet of a sovereign or two on an event 
which interests us. Even Lord Falmouth himself 
is recorded to have backed one of his horses on a 
certain occasion to win him a small silver coin, and 
I will frankly confess that when I have believed 
myself to be the possessor of a really good bit of 
information, I have frequently had a trifle on. But 
that is all. It is my belief that betting regularly 
on horse-racing, whether on the course or over the 
tape, is a very poor game except to the very few who 
give up all their time and energy to it and can 
reckon on really good information. Even then a 
man finds it passing difficult to reckon on making 
a sure income every year, as the bookmakers now 
lay far shorter odds than formerly. 

Rogues there doubtless are, and to spare, con- 
nected with horse-racing. It is inevitable that a 
sport, so indissolubly connected with gambhng, 
should draw round itself a large crowd of blacklegs 
and pilferers. Indeed it is perfectly safe to lay it 
down as a hard-and-fast rule that no sport or game 
in which betting is a feature can remain utterly 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 33 

incorruptible. Idle is it, therefore, to attempt to 
whitewash the dark side of horse-racing. I was 
reading some years ago, in the Pall Mall Gazette, the 
letter of "a regular race-goer," who took up the 
cudgels on behalf of his favourite sport. Some of 
his arguments were ingenious, but unsound. He 
asserted that there were probably not a dozen owners 
then running racehorses in England who would 
order them to be " pulled." This may be so, though 
scarcely owing to the reason given, namely, that 
such a " pulling " order would place the owner and 
trainer for ever after in the power of the jockey. A 
jockey's word is not better than that of an owner or 
a trainer ; and besides, if the jockey obeyed, he would 
in his own interests keep his mouth closed. There 
are other ways of preventing a horse from winning 
a race besides that of " pulling." A horse can be 
" stuffed " before the race ; that is probably a much 
safer, and an equally sure, method of accomplishing 
the sinister design. I recollect once a well-known 
cross-country jockey, immediately after dismounting 
in a race, give the owner the last thing in the world 

he expected or bargained for. " You villain ! " 

said he ; " you ' stuffed ' that horse. Never you ask 
me to ride for you again ! " si sic omnes ! 

" Good things " in racing and betting often turn 
out to be the worst things. Once I prided myself 
on having made what I regarded as a really nice 
Httle wager with the Duke of Hamilton. We were 
discussing the weights horses had carried in the 
Grand National, and referring to Cortolvin, — which 
had no less than 11 st. 13 lbs. on his back, the heaviest 
impost ever carried to victory at Liverpool, excepting 

3 



34 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

that of Cloister, — I mentioned the horse as winning 
in '66. The Duke said no, he won in '67. I was 
perfectly certain that '66 was the year, and the Duke 
equally so that '67 was correct. He was so certain 
that he offered to bet 100 to 1, and I said, " Well, I 
must take that, Duke." So 100 to 1 in sovereigns 
was laid twice and taken. We referred to the Turf 
Guide, and found that '67 was the year. The weights 
used to come out much earlier in those times, and 
the betting also commenced earlier in consequence, 
and this it evidently was that had deceived me. The 
Duke of Hamilton was a very difficult man to catch 
tripping in a matter of this kind. 

Of course it is a fact that a backer who keeps 
his eyes open and watches his chances carefully, 
may sometimes get the better of the bookmakers. 
A remarkable instance of this was given me by 

Lord . He had backed Blue Gown to win him 

a substantial sum in the Champagne Stakes. Blue 
Gown won, but was disqualified. Wells was a care- 
lessly inclined jockey, and in this case would not 
take the trouble to waste. As a result he scaled 
overweight, and a pile of money on Blue Gown was 
lost by backers. My friend had arranged to put his 
Blue Gown winnings — counting his chickens, after 
the manner of many backers, before they were hatched 
— on Achievement for the Leger. Unfortunately 
he had none to put, otherwise he would have been 
something like ten thousand pounds in pocket. 
Determined to make up for his Blue Gown disap- 
pointment, if possible, he went to two or three hole- 
in-the-corner meetings in Scotland, whither he knew 
several of the big bookmakers were pursuing that 



SPOKT AND SPORTSMEN 35 

plunger of plungers, Lord Hastings. It was a case of 
the pursuers pursued ! He having good information 
at his disposal won no less than six thousand pounds 
at these pottering little Scotch meetings. 

I would not have any one suppose from these 
views, expressed perhaps with " brutal frankness," 
that I am joining in the hue-and-cry of the hysterical 
folk who regard horse-racing as the most iniquitous 
of sports, and support the ridiculous movement of 
the Anti-gambling League initiated some years ago. 
On the contrary, I lost no time in setting down 
my name for what it was worth on the list of the 
Association which very properly commenced what 
amounted to a counter-campaign. In the first place, 
the attempt to stop people from betting by such 
means as the Anti-gambling League adopted — notably 
their wild attack on the Jockey Club — has proved to 
be utterly fatuous ; and, in the second place, the 
movement was in reality a thinly veiled one, not only 
against gambling, but also against the national sport 
of horse-racing into the bargain. It is a monstrous 
thing to try and discredit and injure this our noblest 
and most national sport, simply because it has the 
misfortune to be used as the means of gambhng by 
those who are more interested in the odds than the 
horses or the horsemanship. Fortunately the sport- 
ing instinct seems to-day stronger than ever amongst 
all classes, and the tide is not likely to be stemmed 
by a few faddists whose programme is to carry the 
war into the camp of no less a force than human 
nature itself, by the aid of grandmotherly legislation 
and frivolous actions against a body of gentlemen 
who represent the best traditions of the turf, and do 



36 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

not a little to make horse-racing a pure and honour- 
able pursuit. 

Childerditch was the only English meeting in which 
I rode in the spring of 1870. The season was indeed 
then practically over, nor had I many opportunities 
of racing or chasing for some time to come. The 
summer and autumn of that year were whiled away 
for the most part in small and miscellaneous sport 
and pastime. It was in the summer of 1870 that 
wars and rumours of wars eventually took shape 
and form in the declaration of hostilities between 
France and Germany on July 19, 1870. This oc- 
curred to me as a capital opportunity to see a little 
service abroad, and I crossed the Channel with the 
object of getting, if it were possible, to the front. 

Arrived at Amiens via Ostend and Brussels, I 
found a fair going on, and mixed freely amongst the 
crowd. Something in my personal appearance, or 
in the faultiness of my accent, I suppose, conveyed 
the impression that I was a German spy. A mob 
of angry Frenchmen soon began to gather round, 
and, being quite alone and defenceless save for my 
fists, it occurred to me that for once in a way a re- 
treat would be discreet. Therefore I retired leisurely 
to my hotel, followed by the suspicious mob. The 
Commissaire of Police was sent for, but after talking 
with me and seeing my passport, he expressed himself 
as quite satisfied that my business was a legitimate 
one. He recommended me, however, to get out of 
Amiens as speedily as possible. I hired a convey- 
ance and left the town with all despatch at midnight. 
My driver knew the ropes well, and managed most 
skilfully to get me past all the francs tireurs. Even- 



SPOET AND SPOKTSMEN 37 

tually, though not without some ugly-looking hitches, 
Chermont was reached. 

Subsequently I walked on to Chantilly, and here I 
was hospitably received by Colonel McCall, the factor 
of the Due d'Aumale. I offered to join the Saxon 
Uhlans, but they were not in need of any fresh men, 
and accordingly I had to cast about for some other way 
of seeing a little active service and of getting to the 
front. I was given the opening by a young Prussian 
Lieutenant in the Garde Cuirassiers, named Schwarz, 
whom I had the pleasure of introducing to Prince 
Blucher at a little ' Waterloo ' dinner I gave about six 
years ago. They had not met since the Battle of 
Koniggratz in 1866. Whilst waiting for the bom- 
bardment of Paris, he and other officers had been 
enjoying a little sport in the way of steep lechasing near 
Chantilly, and this was how I came to know the young 
lieutenant. One day, when wallcing in the forest, I 
met Schwarz with several others in a waggon. He 
told me that they were going to the front, and asked 
would I join them. I did so forthwith. 

The Saxon Uhlans were a splendid body of cavalry, 
and more active than the Cuirassiers, owing to the 
fact that they carried far less weight. They inspired 
many of the French troops with a very wholesome 
dread. At least one-third of the cuirasses were 
struck in the course of the war. At about 300 yards 
the bullets of the French rifles would penetrate their 
breastplates, which however were effective against 
fire at 350 yards and greater distances. 

At Chantilly I had left my kit at Colonel McCalFs. 
It was sent for after I had gone to the front with 
Schwarz, and after passing through a great number 



38 FORTY YEAKS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

of hands came back to me intact. To show how 
remarkable was the organization in the Prussian Army 
at this time, I may mention that even the cognac in 
my flask had not been touched. The most careful in- 
ventory had been kept of everything in the kit, down 
to a novel, the name of which had been copied out on 
the receipt form which was handed to me for signature. 

Very soon I was fortunate enough to get to St. 
Denis, just outside Paris, and here in company with 
Prince Wreda saw something in the nature of active 
service. At night-time both sides would often send 
out advance guards, so that the combatants tended 
to get closer and closer to each other. We were 
within a hundred and fifty yards or so of the French 
lines on at least one occasion. In the morning these 
advance guards would retire. 

I usually, too, joined one of the parties that were 
sent out after the balloons which ascended from 
Paris in numbers for the purpose of disseminating 
false information about the state of things prevailing 
in the front. These balloons were of a small size, 
and as they travelled at no great height, we were 
sometimes able to riddle them with bullets. We 
used to fire at them with the French chassepot rifles 
which had been taken in action or else flung away 
by fugitives. The chassepot was a better weapon 
than the Prussian needle-gun. It was perhaps this, 
balloon hunting which first sowed in me an ineradi- 
cable passion for aeronautics. 

Though I had some good fun with the Prussians, 
and was hospitably entertained, I scarcely liked to 
overstay my welcome, especially as there was very 
little food for very many mouths. So back I started 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 39 

to Cliantilly, and after again receiving hospitality 
from McCall, went on to Amiens. I travelled a great 
deal on foot, and was in all arrested three times. 
"When at length I reached Amiens, I found myself 
once more in hot water amongst the townsfolk. I 
was suspected, arrested as a spy, and taken before 
the head of the poHce — not my friend of a prior occa- 
sion. My position looked a very nasty one indeed, 
followed as I was by an angry and threatening mob 
of Frenchmen. But again I was treated with much 
consideration. It happened that I had with me — 
first, the accounts of the Due d'Aumale's estate which 
Colonel McCall had entrusted to my hands, asking 
me to carry them back to England and deposit them 
in safe keeping there ; and secondly, a number of 
cartoons which severely caricatured various things 
and people French. The first packet aroused the 
suspicions of the people who arrested me, the second 
their fury. But the head of the Amiens police having 
glanced at the seal of the Due d'Aumale on my first 
packet, and learnt my name and nationahty, courte- 
ously sent me on my way rejoicing. Shortly after- 
wards I was crossing the Channel. The accounts 
of the Chantilly estate I sent upon reaching England 
to Coutts', where they were safely lodged. 

Though I am bound to say that I found the Prussian 
soldiers most kind and obliging, it seems that some 
of them acted with marked meanness towards Colonel 
McCall, who had shown them every hospitahty at the 
chateau. Despite the fact that he had invited some of 
the officers to dinner, and stood them the best wine in 
his cellar, they sent him an imperious message on the 
following day to the effect that they required at once, 



40 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

T think something Hke a hundred dozen bottles of 
champagne. Rather scurvy treatment this after the 
hospitahty they had received. McCall repUed that 
he had not so much in his private cellar. 

The Duke of Hamilton had a racing stud at Chan- 
tilly at the time hostilities commenced between 
France and Germany. His horses were sent back 
to England in the midst of the war, but not, I was told, 
before one or two attempts had been made to seize 
them for military purposes. I am not sure both 
the French and Germans did not meditate annexing 
the stud. Some German soldiers, at any rate, actually 
made a raid on the stables, and as luck would have 
it first entered into the stall of an old horse called 
the Czar. He was a regular Tartar, and savagely 
went for the intruders, who promptly showed the 
white feather. They probably adjudged after this 
that the stud was one to be avoided, and made no 
further attempt to annex it for their own purposes. 

The Duke of Hamilton, by the way, was, though 
a thorough Englishman, related rather closely to 
most influential personages on both sides in this 
Franco -Prussian War. He was nephew of the Grand 
Duke of Baden, and cousin of the Emperor of the 
French. Hence he was called the " International 
Duke."' Under the circumstances, it was rather too 
bad of the combatants trying to seize his racing stud. 

The Duke was known amongst his friends as a 
capital all-round sportsman. With the gloves he 
used to be a pretty hard hitter some years ago. Once 

he was sparring with a mutual friend W . W 

tapped the Duke several times in a very short space 
of time, and a professional who was witnessing the 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 41 

bout criticized the latter's method of defence. " Put 
on the gloves yourself then and try him," was the 
retort. The professional did, and was speedily 
floored no less than three times by the amateur, who 
was undoubtedly a very clever boxer. 

Chantilly was the scene of the Duke's famous 
match in the Sixties with Baron Malortie. This 
match was to ride from Paris to Chantilly and back. 
The Duke just outside Chantilly galloped clean into 
a heavily-laden market cart, and fairly spread- 
eagled its contents ; so he never got over the second 
half of the course at all. Malortie was a duellist of 
renown in those days. 

Baron Malortie, Bismarck's nephew, whom I used 
at one time to see a good deal of, had been engaged 
in many affairs of honour. Several of his duels have 
become famous. Once when the ground had been 
paced, and it only remained to give the word to fire, 
a sergeant sprung out of the bushes hard by, and 
ordered the combatants to lower their pistols. Mal- 
ortie recognized in the unwelcome intruder a comrade 
who had fought with him all through the Mexican 
War. He reproached him bitterly for the interfer- 
ence. The sergeant was touched by Malortie's re- 
proach, and expressed his regret that the combatants 
had not chosen their ground on the other side of the 
road, for if the duel had only taken place there he 
would not have felt it necessary to interfere, as it 
would have been beyond his limits. Next morning 
the duellists met again, and fought out their quarrel 
uninterrupted. Malortie fired too hastily, missed 
his aim, and was thus placed at the mercy of his 
antagonist. He crossed his arms, exclaiming that 



42 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

he would be shot Hke a man and not like a dog. He 
was hurt, but not mortally wounded. Lying on 
the ground, Malortie was too proud to allow his foe 
to see how badly he was hurt, and so requested his 
second to give him a cigar. Malortie was constantly 
engaged at one period of his life in fighting men who 
abused his beloved Hanover. 

The Baron was a pleasant raconteur in matters 
other than duelling. He would tell how, when on 
the Staff of MaximiHan's General, and dining a party 
of four, the Emperor, the General, and their two 
aides-de-camp, he had the honour to give the former 
a glass of particularly good Madeira. The Emperor 
had expressed a desire for some Madeira, and the 
General reminded Malortie of a very fine sample 
which he possessed. The wine was produced, and 
Maximilian praised it greatly. He naturally asked 
where it came from. With a respectful request that 
the information might not go any further, Malortie 
informed the astonished Emperor that it came from 
his own caterer. 

The ducal stud at Chantilly was under the well- 
known trainer, Mr. Planner. I met him there for 
the first time, and had some interesting conversation 
with him concerning matters equine. The next 
time we met was under very different circumstances, 
on Lambourne Downs, when I was tramping through 
peaceful England from Oxford to Southampton. 

The few years following my dash into the midst of 
the Franco-Prussian War offered comparatively few 
opportunities for sport and adventure. My riding 
was chiefly confined to the hunting field, though I 
occasionally turned up where practicable at a cross- 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 43 

country meeting, and put in from time to time a good 
deal of miscellaneous sport of lesser kinds. In the 
summer of 1871, for instance, I did much canoeing, 
chiefly in the Thames and its tributaries. I had 
acquired a little knowledge and taste for this pleasant 
form of aquatics in Nova Scotia, where I was stationed 
for some time when a lad and serving in the Royal 
Navy, and accordingly, in lieu of more stirring forms 
of amusement and exercise, took to it again during 
that summer. Frequently I used to go well out to sea 
in my Rob Roy or single-sculling boat, and spend 
nearly the whole day on the water. There are ad- 
ventures to be got even out of what seems rather a 
tame kind of amusement to many who prefer sterner 
modes of sport. I recollect one aquatic adventure 
in particular. I was out between Ryde and South- 
sea one evening when a blinding mist came on, and 
soon completely hid the dim outline of the land. 
There chanced to be a wind blowing which I knew 
would take me right into Southsea. Eventually I 
reached the shore, which I subsequently hugged, 
about half a mile to the west of the Gilkicker Fort. 
The mist was as impenetrable to the eye as a dense 
London fog. 

About this period of my life I was compelled to 
spend a good deal of time in London, being engaged 
in legal proceedings. People outside my immediate 
circle of friends and relatives can scarcely be expected 
to take much interest in a matter of purely private 
import like this, and I should not mention the matter 
were it not for the fact that the press has at various 
times commented on the legal results of a particu- 
larly cruel Will, which has hampered me throughout 



44 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

my life, and brought me into contact with the cum- 
brous and costly machinery of the English law. The 
law is one of the few things which, I have now come 
to the conclusion, it behoves every sensible man to 
flee from. But no man can tamely submit to great 
injustices. 

Exercise is as daily bread to me, so that a little 
London life goes a long way. But besides walking, 
I sometimes found in London a form of exercise which 
entailed a vigorous use of the arms. About three- 
or four-and-thirty years ago it was a quite common 
thing to meet at night-time a band of half a dozen 
or more young men — probably for the most part 
they were composed of shop assistants — walking the 
streets with linked arms, with the object of driving 
unoffending foot passengers off the pavement. They 
marched along in much the same way as the under- 
grads at Oxford used to do in days of town and gown 
rows. Once crossing Hungerford Bridge with a 
companion I was confronted with such a body of 
amateur bullies, and naturally made up my mind to 
go through them. This was done. Several of the 
young heroes then turned round and threatened to give 
us a hiding. As it turned out, instead of receiving 
hidings we gave some ourselves, and there were soon 
several black eyes and bruised faces at the south side 
of Hungerford Bridge. Before long a policeman 
appeared on the scene, and one of the injured inno- 
cents at once proposed to give us in charge for assault. 
Several others were ready to follow suit, and with 
so many witnesses arrayed against us, the prospect 
was distinctly ominous, especially as we had not a 
scratch and several of our aggressors were knocked 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 45 

about. Besides, we had to outward appearance 
first commenced undeniable hostilities by breaking 
through their line. Under the circumstances we 
compromised, and agreed to pay £50 to one of our 
opponents who had come very badly out of the fray. 
In an age of chantage, this is the only instance I can 
recollect of having yielded to a risky, and as a rule 
an ineffectual, method of extricating oneself from 
an awkward dilemma. 

On another occasion I was invited to square 
matters by "a trifle down," under very different 
circumstances. This was also in London, but at a 
much later date. It arose from an altercation with 
a hansom-cab driver, who was incensed at my only 
paying him sixpence over his fare. He got off his 
box, and followed me into a confectioner's shop in 
Victoria Street. He would not accept, so he said, a 
farthing under two shillings, and in order to enforce 
his claim laid his hand upon my coat collar. I warned 
him once and warned him twice, that this would 
lead to complications, but being a big blustering 
bully, he persisted, and seemed ready to shake the 
extra sixpence out of me. I then freed myself, and 
my patience being quite exhausted, returned the 
assault with interest. He did not fall down, but 
spun half round. I failed to resist the temptation 
after this to thrust him out of the shop by means of 
my foot with just the amount of necessary force 
for such an operation. A constable appeared on the 
scene, and next day cabby and I met at the West- 
minster Pohce Court. It had occurred to me directly 
after the fracas in the confectioner's, that if I gave 
my full name the man might bring up relays of wit- 



46 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

nesses with the idea of getting a handsome sum of 
money out of me ; so I refrained from doing so. The 
prosecutor, with a black eye, saw me waiting outside 
the court, and offered to drop his case against me 
if I would pay for the damage I had done. " No,'* 
said I, "it is too late for that. If you had made 
that proposal yesterday I might have listened to it. 
Now we'll see it out.'' The man upon appearing 
before the magistrate proceeded to give a nicely 
prepared version of the affair. I had offered him a 
shilling, he had declined, and upon his dismounting 
I had offered him one-and-six with one hand and 
knocked him down with the other, all this taking 
place outside the confectioner's. Then I was called 
upon to give my version. I related the affair as it 
had occurred inside the shop. " You said it took 
place outside ? " remarked the magistrate to the 
plaintiff. " Oh yes," admitted he, "I forgot ; it 
was inside." " The case is dismissed," said Mr. 
D'Eyncourt curtly, which was blow number three 
for cabby. 

This incident reminds me of an escapade which 
happened in what may be called my salad days — 
about which I have been writing — assuming that 
I ever really had any. Supping, or rather preparing 
to sup, one night at a West End restaurant with a 
friend, there was set down before me a lobster in 
almost a state of putrefaction. The waiter after 
serving up this horrible dish whisked out of the room. 
I went down and remonstrated with him. He deemed 
my manner, I suppose, very threatening, and accord- 
ingly dashed a pepper-pot which he held in his hand 
full at me ; the top came off, and the contents covered 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 47 

my clothes, fortunately not getting into my eyes. 
I proceeded to chastise him, and had to answer next 
day to a charge of assault at Marlborough Street 
Police Station, before, so far as I recollect, Mr. Knox. 
I had no witness on my behalf, as my friend had 
not actually seen the affair take place, and it seemed 
likely that I should get the worst of the case. But 
the careful suppression on the part of the waiter of 
the facts about the pepper-pot, which came out when 
my friend was sworn and referred to my condition 
after the affair, was noted by the watchful magis- 
trate. He reminded the prosecutor that he had 
not mentioned this incident, which put a different 
aspect on affairs, and in the end I had to submit to 
a small fine. For long afterwards friends were fond 
of exclaiming when they met me what a strong smell 
of pepfer was about ! 

That lobster cost me rather over five pounds in 
all. The affair reminds me of a bill I saw with my 
own eyes at the Black Swan, York. It was made 
out to the late Lord Glasgow, a notoriously short- 
tempered man. The items of the bill were : Chop 
a shilling, champagne ten shillings, and for breaking 
waiter's arm five pounds. There is a much better- 
known story of Lord Glasgow and a ticket clerk at 
a railway station. His lordship needed change, so 
handed a ten-pound note to the clerk, who told him 
that he must endorse it. He therefore wrote " Glas- 
gow " on the back, which made the clerk say, " I 
want your name and not where you are going 
to, silly mon ! " The last two words were scarce- 
ly out of the clerk's mouth, before the irate peer 
had dashed his fist through the booking-office win- 



48 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

dow, accompanying the blow with some forcible 
epithet. 

Writing of Lord Glasgow reminds me of a nice ruse 
which was once resorted to in order to prevent his 
exercising the right to blackball a candidate for 

membership at his club. The late Lord X being, 

like Glasgow, rather a peppery fellow, was not very 
acceptable amongst a certain circle of racing folk. 
His name was down for the Jockey Club, where two 
blackballs were sufficient to pill a candidate. Now 
it was well known amongst his Lordship's friends 
who were trying to secure his election that two 
members — General Peel and Lord Glasgow — had 
resolved to blackball him. Accordingly they had 
to devise a scheme to get these two out of the way. 
On the day of election both General Peel and Lord 
Glasgow were suddenly summoned away — one of 
them, I fancy, so far as Newmarket — on urgent 
business. The trick was done by two bogus tele- 
grams and was completely successful. There was 
no opposition to Lord X , and he was elected. 

In the early Seventies Mrs. Frederick Thistlewayte 
was living in town, and often entertaining illustrious 
visitors. I recollect not a few interesting conversa- 
tions with prominent public men at the dinner-table. 
Mrs. Thistlewayte herself was a distinctly well-in- 
formed woman and a clever hostess. Lord Shaftes- 
bury used often to visit her : no doubt she helped him 
materially in his many philanthropic schemes. A 
particularly fascinating woman too was Mrs. Thistle- 
wayte, as may be gathered from the following per- 
fectly true tale. Once Lord Shaftesbury called 
when an extremely well-known statesman was in 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 49 

the lady's drawing-room. She skilfully managed 
to bring this statesman to his bended knees in an 
attitude of unspeakable devotion at the very moment 
when the door was opened and his lordship announced. 
A certain photograph of Bismarck and a renowned 
singer sent a scream of laughter through Europe, 
though it was speedily explained away. But con- 
ceive the sensation which this extraordinary incident 
would have caused had Lord Shaftesbury babbled ! 
He kept his lips closed, however, nor, to do her 
justice, did Mrs. Thistlewayte proclaim her triumph 
from the house-tops. It will scarcely be denied that 
this tale may be fairly included in a book of sporting 
reminiscences. 

We were not above practical jokes in those days, 
and in the sturm und drang of youth. The very friend 
who was so useful in my pepper-pot case strove to 
play me off at Evans's one night very neatly. A nice 
joke was to put the yolk of an egg in a friend's hat. 

I managed to get one in W 's hat all right at 

Evans's on this occasion, but he appears to have seen 
what was up and to have transferred it to mine. It 
was a gay party, and between us we made so much 
noise that old Paddy Green sent the chucker-out to 
quiet us. This fellow came at me ; I clapped my opera 
hat over his eyes, and to our delight the yolk trickled 
down his face. Finding that we were showing fight 
Paddy came up with plenty of " saft sawder," ad- 
dressing us as " Dear Boys," and the affair passed off 
amicably. 

But for a baulked practical joke, commend me to 
one which was to have been played by three officers 
in the 4th Hussars, amongst whom was my friend 

4 



50 FOETY YEAES OF A SPOETSMAN'S LIFE 

Wilson T . The trio conceived the briUiant 

idea of posting down to the west of England, and 
visiting the house of a certain gentleman well dis- 
guised as bum-bailif!s. Their scheme need not have 
miscarried had it not been disclosed to a fourth 
party, who wired down to the intended victim warning 
him that three notorious London cracksmen were 
shortly going to visit his house. The police were 
put on their guard, and directly the conspirators 
appeared they were " run in," despite all remon- 
strances and show of indignation. Li durance vile 
too were they kept for several hours, until they were 
able to prove themselves three cavalry officers. 

The useful art of self-defence is one in which I 
tried to instruct myself early in life. Even the most 
peaceably inclined people admit that it is often a 
really desirable one ; and especially is this the case 
at times in the rough-and-tumble of the racecourse. 
Every man ought to have some idea of how to defend 
himself with his bare fists, and above all of how to 
defend ladies who may be in his company, and for 
whose safety he is therefore responsible. 

Unfortunately I was too young at the time to see 
the Sayers and Heenan fight, though I had a good 
description of it from a friend, who was only eleven 
years old at the time, but was lucky enough to be pre- 
sent. With an enterprise beyond his years he managed 
to smuggle himself into the vehicle in which his 
father drove from Aldershot to see the great fight, 
and, arrived at the scene of action, a kind word from 
a gentleman who admired his spirit got him in. The 
Sayers and Heenan fight, so far as I know, is the only 
record of a man fighting with a broken arm. It can 



SPOET AND SPORTSMEN 51 

certainly be done with a broken finger. When I was 
cramming at Lendy's, I had a fight lasting for an hour 
and a half with a waterman. My second was General 
— then Captain — Sir Owen Lanyon, who was at that 
time cramming for the Staff College. After ten 
minutes or thereabouts my finger got broken, and 
for an hour and twenty minutes I had to fight on 
with this disablement. Odds of three and four to one 
on me were being offered when the police stopped the 
fight. A professional prize-fighter said to me after- 
wards, " When your finger was broken you ought 
to have hit him with the wrist end of the flat of 
your hand." 

At the time of this fight I was in my teens. I am 
not conscious of having been the aggressor in many 
of the encounters in which it has been my lot to be a 
principal since then, though frequently enough the 
first actual blow has come from me ; but there is 
certainly no denying the fact that I have been in 
the wars a great number of times since that bout at 
Sunbury. In a number of instances hostilities have 
been initiated by a heartily expressed desire and 
intention on the part of various persons who have 
fancied themselves as fighters to give me a sound 
hiding ; and people who talk in this vein are often 
the easiest to subdue, as they are inclined as a rule 
to quite over-rate their own powers and under-rate 
their adversaries'. 

One of the soundest thrashings I ever recollect, 
administered by ordinarily a non-fighting man, was 
on Oare Hill, the scene in past years of a review of 
the troops. The pugilists were a burly tramp and 
St. M , a fellow Green Jacket of mine who now 



52 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

sports the Strawberry Leaves. The tramp was 
leathering his wife, and my friend bade him desist. 
Whereupon the man turned upon the intruder. St. 

M , who was a man of great stature and strength, 

proceeded to administer the wife-beater a tremendous 
thrashing. 

St. M was perhaps one of the biggest men in 

the Service in those days, and he had several tall 
brothers. It used to be a common joke in the regi- 
ment to say, " Here come thirty-one feet of St. 

M ." I suppose the strongest man in the Army in 

recent times, not even excluding two or three gigantic 
troopers who engaged in Homeric hand-to-hand 
conflicts at Balaclava and Inkerman, was the present 
Lord Methuen's father. At one time he could, it 
used to be s-aid, hold out Sir Watkin Wynne, himself 
a heavy man, at arm's length like a dumb-bell. 
Lord Methuen, however, seems to have tried this 
feat once too often. On a certain occasion he at- 
tempted to repeat it in barracks, and as a result the 
seats of three pairs of overalls went ! The peer had 
no doubt forgotten that he was getting an older man 
and Sir Watkin Wynne a heavier one. 

I was married in the autumn of 1872, and for a 
season or two my wife and I lived in the west of 
Ireland. On the Shannon there was some capital 
punt shooting. Wild fowl were numerous, and the 
shooting was particularly good, chiefly because there 
were only a very few guns at work. Since then I 
beheve sport has much deteriorated, owing to the 
great increase in the number of sportsmen who 
repair thither every season. Though I have done a 
great deal of ordinary English covert shooting in 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 53 

my time, I have always preferred the mixed and 
rougher kind of sport one gets in wilder districts. 
The shooting in Ireland at this period was good all 
round, and I enjoyed some particularly good wood- 
cock shooting at Lord Inchequin's fine place, Dromo- 
land in County Clare. What the bags averaged 
I am scarcely prepared to say, not having made 
any notes about them at the time, but I don't think 
Bagot and myself did better in the course of a season's 
shooting in the Mediterranean, to which reference 
will be made later. 

In the winter of 1873-4, from our house in the 
wilds of Clare, we did a certain amount of fox- 
hunting. When the fox took to the hills one had 
often to get off one's horse and lead it, or hunt on 
foot — a form of sport which little recommends itself 
to heavy weights. On one occasion when out with 
Reeves' hounds, I performed what the field was 
pleased to regard as a sensational exploit. In order 
to save the life of a deer, which was close upon its 
death struggle, I had to gallop across a narrow 
arched brick footway over a stream which separated 
us from the hounds. Nobody else could have fol- 
lowed, even had they meditated doing so, as my 
horse distributed the loose bricks right and left, and 
practically demolished a good portion of the footway. 
I was just in time to save the deer. The scene of 
the incident was close to Newmarket-on-Fergus. 

A feat in horsemanship such as this usually implies 
quite as much intelligence and skill in the animal 
as in the rider. It is extraordinary indeed what 
cleverness a good horse whose blood is up will display 
when he is called upon to make an awkward jump. 



54 FOKTY YEAES OF A SPOETSMAN'S LIFE 

Out one day with the East Essex, I rode my chestnut 
mare Cartridge — rather a famous animal in the 
county — at a stile on the other side of which was a 
narrow footbridge across the lock at Springfield. 
She took it without hesitation. There was a second 
stile a few yards on at the other end of the bridge ; 
two short strides brought her to this, and over she 
went like a bird. No one else except my son tried 
to follow me, and his pony refused. It was certainly 
an awkward thing getting over these two stiles on 
either side of the narrow lock footbridge. Most of 
us ride for a fall now and then. What on earth is 
the use of going out hunting if one is going to ride 
only at obstacles which one is certain to surmount ? 
Better to jog along the high-road, or better still walk. 
The most tremendous leap I ever knew a horse 
take was out with the Cheshire hounds at Marbury 
in 1870. A fine mare I was riding cleared a five- 
foot fence with a bound that covered over thirty-one 
feet. We measured it directly afterwards, and it 
was stated at the time to be the second best jump 
in point of length on record, the best being thirty- 
three feet. This latter jump, however, which was 
performed by Chandler at Warwick, is open to much 
doubt. After the horse had made it, his rider had 
to finish the race, weigh in, and dress before taking 
any measurements. Meanwhile several spectators 
on horseback had ridden over the course. It is 
worthy of remark, that the best long jumps of horses 
are little better than those of men. Mr. C. B. Fry, 
in his Oxford days, would have been a good match 
against some fair equine performers in the hunting 
field and racecourse. There is this difference of 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 55 

course — that a horse usually takes off from compara- 
tively rough ground, and moreover can clear height 
and length in the same jump. Good jumps are 
often achieved by horses over hurdles. Harold, for 
instance, schooHng over low hurdles once at Epsom, 
cleared twenty-seven feet. Clean jumps of twenty- 
four and twenty-five feet are frequent. 

In the summer of 1876 I was again in Ireland, 
this time bent on soldiering as well as sport. I joined 
the Limerick Artillery Militia for its annual training, 
and managed whilst engaged in this occupation to be 
concerned in several aquatic adventures. On one 
occasion, when my battery was practising at flags 
erected on floating wooden frames beyond Tarbet 
Lighthouse, I paddled out in my canoe to secure a 
trophy in one of the flags which had been hit. When 
I arrived, however, at the target I found that I could 
not get near enough to grasp the flag, the sea being 
far too rough. After several fruitless attempts I 
got out of my canoe, and swam up to the buoy. I 
then got the flag, but, turning towards the shore, 
found that the canoe had drifted away, and was quite 
out of reach. It looked as though I must abandon 
the flag, and get back to shore a beaten man. But 
being in good swimming form at the time I resolved 
to try and swim in, holding the flag and knife in my 
teeth. 

Eventually, after a hard struggle with the waves, 
I reached my canoe and got in again. Those on shore 
saw the empty canoe, and feared some disaster. So 
alarmed was Colonel Vereker that he started at a 
run down a steep incline in order to get a boat and 
a rescue party. He was a corpulent man, and having 



56 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

once started at this rate was quite unable to pull 
himself up, and ended at a tearing pace, which sent 
the whole company into explosions of laughter. Some 
averred that he was only stopped from going clean 
into the water through a colhsion with the lighthouse. 

On November 15, 1876, in accordance with the in- 
structions of the Duke of Cambridge, the bronze medal 
of the Royal Humane Society was presented to me 
at a full-dress parade of troops at Winchester. I 
cannot deny that the occasion was a proud and happy 
one to me, though of course I was well aware that I 
did nothing more than any man worthy the name 
would do when I went into the sea at Limerick after 
a drowning man. These things, in a slang phrase, 
are " all in the day's work " : only heartily I wish I 
had had more opportunities of the kind, as my West 
Indian experiences have given me great confidence 
in the water. 

The facts in connection with this presentation 
were as follows : — On July 17, 1876, I was in charge 
of the regimental bathing parade at Tarbet, where 
I was stationed with the Artillery Militia. Infor- 
mation was brought to me that a man was drowning, 
having been caught in an overmastering current by 
the lighthouse known by the name of Tarbet Race. 
I repaired to the spot, and found that the man was 
the best part of a quarter of a mile from the shore 
and very much exhausted. My brother was making 
preparations to go to his rescue, but my position 
being more advantageous I was able to reach the 
poor chap first. He was then, though a fair swim- 
mer, fairly beat. I got him by the left upper arm, 
and sustained him till the lifeboat from the Coast- 



SPORT AND SPORTSMEN 57 

guard station came at last to the rescue. They had 
launched her so hurriedly that she got stove in, and 
when she reached us was full of water. The man 
behaved very well in the water, and obeyed my 
directions, which greatly facilitated the task of holding 
him up till the boat came. Thus the force of dis- 
cipline evidenced itself in a very serviceable manner. 

At the Winchester presentation Colonel Newdegate 
said some uncommonly pleasant things about per- 
sonal bravery, and so forth, and there was a good 
deal of cheering. This was the more gratifying to 
me in that it came from my old regiment the 
Rifles. 

The last opportunity I had of putting my swimming 
powers to practical service in saving life — or in this 
case unfortunately in endeavouring to save it — 
was when bathing near Maldon in the Blackwater. 
My attention was drawn to some cries for help on 
the south side of the river, and being in mid-stream 
I rowed across and dived in as near as I could ascertain 
to the spot where a boy had disappeared a few 
minutes before. The water was very thick and I 
could see nothing, so came up for breath, and then 
went under again. I repeated the operation several 
times, but in vain, and eventually left, feeling 
assured that life must be extinct. The body was 
recovered some little time after at low tide. At the 
inquest I felt it only right to talk very straight about 
the conduct of one or two people who were on the 
spot as the lad disappeared, and made no attempt 
to save him. The jury in returning a verdict of 
accidental death by drowning were good enough to 
declare formally that " credit was due to Sir Claude 



58 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

de Crespigny for his unflagging energy and prompti- 
tude in attempting to rescue the lad." 

When a lad of fifteen I had the good fortune to 
save a man's life at " The Hard " in Alresford parish. 
We had been saihng in the Colne, when I jumped 
overboard for the purpose of swimming ashore. My 
companion could not swim a stroke, but he followed 
me promptly, apparently quite unaware that he would 
find himself out of his depth. It was rather a difficult 
business to lug him ashore, but I eventually suc- 
ceeded in doing so. A fisherman saw our critical 
position and tried to come to the rescue, but we were 
safe before he arrived. 



CHAPTER III 

FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 

WHEN not in Ireland with the Limerick Artillery 
Militia in 1876, I was for the most part hunt- 
ing in the south of England. During this and the 
next few years I put in an enormous lot of riding to 
hounds. I hunted in 1876, 77, 78, and 79 with 
the following packs : Tedworth, Luttrell, South 
and West Wilts, Essex, Chiddingfold, Lord Leacon- 
field's, Lord Radnor's, New Forest, Lord Portman's, 
Vine, H. H. and Hursley ; and also with two packs 
of stag-hounds, namely, the Devon and Somerset, 
and the New Forest, the master of which was Sir 
Reginald Graham, the son of that fine old sportsman 
Sir Bellingham Graham, and father of Malise Graham, 
of the 16th Lancers, who represented England 
only the other day in the International jumping 
contests in America. In addition I was sometimes 
out with beagles and with Lord Pembroke's and 
Mr. Raikes's harriers. That keen sportsman, the 
Reverend W. Awdry of Ludgershall, kept a small 
pack of beagles during these years. I used to go out 
with them, and occasionally too with the Hawking 
Club at Everley. This meant hunting at times four, 

59 



60 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

five, and even six days a week, and it entailed some 
very long rides to meets. There was a tradition 
popular amongst my friends that I once rode sixty- 
six miles to a meet. As a matter of fact, I rode down 
to the New Forest from my place in Wiltshire with 
the object of exercising my right of voting in the 
Verderers election, and by way of killing two birds 
at one throw put in a day's hunting. This, however, 
was quite eclipsed by a performance of Lord Queens- 
berry's. After hunting all day with Lord Wemys's 
hounds he started off across the Cheviots for Kin- 
mount on the Solway, a distance of one hundred and 
two miles, riding most of the way on the sorriest of 
posters, and finally, having arrived home at 2 a.m., 
hunted his hounds the same day. 

The severest tall that I ever experienced from of! 
a horse was in the hunting field. On February 23, 
1878, I came a tremendous cropper, when out with 
the Tedworth, and near Penton Lodge, then the 
property of Sir William Humphrey. I rode at a gate 
which I thought was closed all right. The gate, 
however, turned out to be open. Down we came, 
an awful crash, on the other side, and right on some 
vile cobble stones which were covered with treacherous 
moss. My arm was broken very badly at the elbow, 
and it has never been quite straight since. To make 
things worse, some over-solicitous spectators tried to 
drag me by the smashed limb into Lady Humphrey's 
carriage, which happened to be near. It was currently 
reported, and several newspapers have persisted in 
the statement, that I knew the gate to be on the 
swing. That was not so ; nor was I aware that 
there were cobble' stones on the other side. 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 61 

Head-quarters during the fox-hunting period were 
at Durrington in Wiltshire, and the Tedworth was 
the pack most easily reached from that point. The 
praises of this famous pack, hunted of old by the 
immortal sportsman Assheton Smith, have been 
sounded so often that they need scaxcely be repeated 
here. It is impossible, however, to revert to those 
Durrington days without saying something of a few 
of the men who then formed the Tedworth Hunt. 
First and foremost to the mind of every one who 
regularly rode with the Tedworth in those times comes 
Jack Fricker. Old Jack was quite an ideal hunts- 
man. I take it there was no man in England of that 
day who more thoroughly understood foxhounds than 
he. He could distinguish by tongue most of the 
hounds in the pack. Certainly he knew the tongue 
of any hound likely to be in the van. Jack lived 
and almost died in his breeches. He was very un- 
comfortable in any other attire, and equally out of his 
element on the very rare occasions when he was com- 
pelled to drive instead of ride. It is said, however, 
that he was surpassed in knowledge of hound life by 
his predecessor Carter, of whom Parson Gale gave 
one or two remarkable reminiscences in a little 
book he published some years since. " Sir Claude 
de Crespigny," he wrote, " had resided at Durrington 
Manor House for some few seasons, and whilst there 
had hunted regularly with the Tedworth hounds. 
Some time after he had left I received a letter from 
him, asking me if I could find out from old George 
Carter anything respecting a certain hound which 
was in the Duke of Grafton's pack at the time he 
was acting as his huntsman, and might possibly have 



62 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

come with him to Tedworth. Sir Claude was, I 
beheve, tracing out some pedigrees ; at all events he 
wanted to know how the hound in question was bred. 
I took an early opportunity of mentioning this to 
my old friend, and he said at once — 

Remember him ? — of course I do. He were 
a very good hound, and came with me from the 
Duke of Grafton's to Mr. Smith's.' 

Can you tell me, old friend,' I continued, ' how 
he was bred ? ' 

Yes,' replied the himtsman, ' he was by 

out of ' (I cannot myself remember the names of 

his father and mother) ; and calling to his daughter, 
he told her to look into his bureau where he kept 
his old papers, etc., and see if she could find the 
hound list of the Grafton of such and such a year. 
The girl looked for the list and found it, and sure 
enough the pedigree old Carter had given was 
perfectly accurate." 

But an even more remarkable instance of Carter's 
knowledge of homid life is supplied by the following. 
Parson Gale was looking after a hound named 
Matchless which very often would run down to the 
old huntsman's cottage. On one occasion a hound 
came into the garden and commenced baying under 
the window of the bedroom in which Carter was 
lying shortly before his death. He bade his daughter 
— herself "a rare good girl for a hound " — to go see 
what hound it was baying. She looked out of the 
window, and then said, " Oh, 'tis Matchless, father, 
Mr. Gale's puppy." " I tell you 'tis a dog hound," 
rejoined the old fellow, "for I know the note." He 
was as usual in such matters correct. It was a brother 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 63 

of Matchless, called Monitor, the two being so exactly- 
alike that the girl had mistaken one for the other. 

Several other tales about this huntsman have been 
told often enough in the hunting field, originating 
without doubt from Parson Gale, who was quite the 
Boswell of Carter. On one occasion a young fellow, 
very anxious to show his prowess, came cantering up 
to Carter, taking one or two fences on his way with 
great nonchalance, his mount being a very good one. 
" Nice fencer, isn't he ? " said Poppinjay to Carter. 
" Ahem, hope you won't want it by and by, sir," 
was the stern reply. But the best tale of all is told 
by Parson Gale, who accidentally heard Carter remark 
in an undertone concerning one of Mrs. Gale's little 
girls, whom the loving mother had been introducing to 
him, " Nice pup : pity she weren't born a hound." He 
was horrified when he discovered that he had been over- 
heard, and proceeded to offer many sincere apologies. 

It was always Assheton Smith's ambition to hunt 
in his eightieth year. Carter, though he resigned 
the office of huntsman to the Tedworth at the age of 
seventy-three — not without a kind of protest — did 
actually hunt after he had turned eighty, so that he 
beat his master in this respect. Carter's admiration 
for Assheton Smith does not appear to have been 
absolutely unquaUfied. On several occasions he 
found himself unable to approve of the master's 
active and peremptory orders, and after his death 
thought the Tedworth would still survive and greatly 
flourish, which it certainly did. Carter was an ab- 
stemious man, and a God-fearing one too, we have 
been told. There resided at one time in the Tedworth 
country a man who was well endowed with this 



64 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

world *s goods, and had great advantages in the matter 
of position and family connections. But he was 
avoided by the county people, and had few friends. 
Once he tried to find a companion in Carter, who 
felt compelled to cut short his advances with these 
words — " I don't drink, I don't smoke, and I don't 
tell lies. So I'm no use to you, sir." 

Two of the keenest fox-hunters I ever met were 
clergymen, one this Parson Gale, and the other the 
Rev. W. Awdry. Both hunted regularly with the 
Tedworth, as did one or two other gentlemen of the 
cloth. With Awdry, who was a good all-round sports- 
man, always went Mrs. Awdry, herself far better 
versed in fox-hunting than most men who ride to 
hounds. Awdry could really distinguish by tongue 
the leading hounds of the Tedworth almost as well 
as Jack Fricker or even Carter. " How we all used 
to love hunting," he wrote once in recalling those 
Tedworth times, " when we knew the names, breeding, 
and principal peculiarities of every hound in the pack." 

Parson Gale could of course well recollect Assheton 
Smith. Hard by Fosbury, in the Tedworth country, 
there is a very steep and sudden descent into farm- 
land. The parson once seeing me ride rather furiously, 
as it appeared to him, down this place, complimented 
me upon the achievement. He declared that in all 
his days he had only seen one man do it, and do it 
with a loose rein, and that was Assheton Smith. As 
a matter of fact I could not claim to have emulated 
or rivalled Assheton Smith in this matter, because 
my horse took me down before I had time to realize 
the position ; once started it was in any case im- 
possible to draw up till the bottom of the hill was 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 65 

reached. I am told, by the way, that a Welsh pony 
belonging to Mr. A. W. Dewar — the owner of Doles 
Wood — would alone amongst the Tedworth Hunt 
take this and other neighbouring hills without the 
slightest hesitation, and at the steepest point. 

The question of whether or no a clergyman ought 
to hunt has long been hotly disputed. For my part 
I should be content, if amongst my various vocations 
I had ever donned the cloth, to abide by the view 
of a parson who does not hunt himself, but is none 
the less perfectly tolerant of it in his brethren — Mr. 
Baring Gould. He writes concerning this matter, 
" Why not ? Why should not the parson go with 
the hounds ? A more fresh and invigorating pursuit 
is not to be found, nor one in which he is brought 
more in contact with his fellow men. There was a 
breezy goodness about many a hunting parson of old 
times that was in itself a sermon, and was one on the 
topic that healthy amusement and Christianity go 
excellently well together. 

Occasionally the hunting parson, it must be 
admitted, is rather handicapped in the pursuit of 
sport by the obligations of his profession. Two 
instances of this occur to me relating to clergymen 

I have often hunted with. " How's X doing 

now ? " inquired a friend of a hunting parson during 
a check. " Oh, well enough," was the reply. ** On 
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday we had capital 
sport. To-day too he will be having good sport 

no doubt with the C . Then as to to-morrow — 

well, I haven't heard what his arrangements are for 
that day." " Oh," observed an attentive and rather 
shocked listener, " but surely he will have his duties 

5 



66 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

to attend to to-morrow. He has a burial." " Well/' 
replied the parson, gallantly sticking up for his 

brother clergyman, " he can get a curate out of A 

to do that, you know, easily enough, for a sovereign 
or so." 

On one occasion the hounds I was out with had 
a clinking run hard by a churchyard where a well- 
known sporting parson was conducting a burial 
service. Afterwards I tried to describe the run to 
my clerical friend, but cutting me short he painted 
it himself in glowing colours. He was ready with 
the name of every spinney we touched, and could tell 
which was the leading hound at every portion of the 
run. Whilst performing his duties at the open 
grave he had heard the hounds running, and knowing 
every yard of the country was able to diagnose the 
sport — as the hounds ran in a semicircle — at least 
as accurately as I who had been there from start to 
finish. Imagine the restraint which he must have 
exercised over himself whilst reading the service ! 
— the wonder was that he didn't rush off after the 
hounds before his duties were completed. 

There was not much fencing with the Tedworth 
out of the Pewsey Vale district, but we often got 
grand runs ; whilst as for the hounds, they were in 
the time of Jack Fricker's huntsmanship probably as 
fine as any in the country. Often enough in the case 
of a meet in an out-of-the-way spot, the field was 
limited to about half-a-dozen of us or even less in 
the afternoon. The late Duke of WelHngton was 
a well-known figure of the Tedworth Himt in those 
good times, and some time since his Grace was 
affectionately recalling to me the sport we used to 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 67 

enjoy. Sir William Humphrey was another familiar 
figure during these years, and before she came by a 
very nasty accident Lady Humphrey was known as 
one of the most excellent horsewomen of the hunt. 
Penton Lodge was Sir William's Hampshire residence. 
It afterwards passed into the hands of a Mr. Moon, 
who was a regular " Jubilee," getting through his 
thousands in an incredibly short space of time. 

It is curious how entirely undeveloped is the bump 
of locality in some people. Once when out with 
the Tedworth we came upon Penton Lodge, which 
everybody recognized save the owner thereof. " Now 
that's a nice place, and how well situated," said Sir 
William ; " what's the name of that place ? " He 
had evidently never viewed Penton from that par- 
ticular aspect before. 

I have already referred to a bad fall I had out 
with the Tedworth through riding at a gate which 
was more or less on the swing. I was driven to it 
by the behaviour of my horse, who had gone through 
instead of over a gate a short while previously. My 
brother and I were both riding greys, and I recollect 
being much tickled when, after I was bandaged up, 
he told me that in his agitation and hurry he had 
ridden ofi on my horse to enlist the services of a doctor, 
and had not noticed the mistake till he had gone 
some distance. 

A tremendous run we once had with the Tedworth 
from Sir John Astley's place at Everley to Marl- 
borough — the fox was killed close to the London road 
just outside the town — may still be remembered 
by some members of the hunt. One gentleman 
had the use of three horses, but was not in at 



68 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

the death. Sir WiUiam Humphrey returned home 
before the bitter or rather glorious end, so, intending 
to do him a good turn, I wired to Penton Lodge, 
" Killed our fox." Lady Humphrey opened this 
telegram before Sir William had got home, and 
directly she saw the first word in it rushed to the 
conclusion that it must refer to her husband, and 
sustained a severe shock. " Killed " is certainly an 
indiscreet word to begin a telegram with. 

A remarkable character in the Tedworth country, 
and a most dogged old customer, was Caleb Simonds, 
the Savernake Forest keeper. A fox went to earth 
during the cubbing season in Savernake, and Simonds 
started to dig. But the ground was very sandy, and 
at length Jack retired with his hounds. It was 
eight o'clock in the morning when Simonds began 
to dig. He declared he would not budge from that 
earth until he had dislodged the fox. As good as 
his word, he dug on till ten o'clock at night, when 
at length he came upon his quarry. 

Simonds was as fearless as he was dogged. Hear- 
ing shots fired near his cottage at Bedwin Brails on 
a winter's night he went out in shirt and trousers with 
only a flail in his hand. Soon he came across three 
armed poachers, and informed them that they 
would have to come along with him. At first they 
were inclined to surrender, believing that the keeper 
who thus, though unarmed, boldly accosted them 
had a force behind him. But finding out that he 
was alone one of them made a murderous assault on 
him. Simonds with a blow of his flail killed one of 
his assailants on the spot. The other two then 
surrendered, and were marched off by the old keeper. 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 69 

One of the most awkward spots, by the way, for 
hounds to get at I ever saw a fox resort to in extremity 
was a culvert at Savernake. The careful huntsman 
hesitated to let his hounds go after the fox, lest they 
should be unable to turn when fairly in this drain. 
Whilst we were waiting and wondering what could 
be done, a sweep with his bundle of implements came 
up. He asked whether it was a fox we wanted to 
dislodge. " What else do you think it could be ? " 
inquired Jack with scorn. The sweep said he would 
have the fox out, and fitted together his rods. He 
then inserted them, with a dexterous twist caught 
Beynard in the jacket, and dragged him out in no 
time. That is probably the single instance of a 
sweep's rods being used in fox-hunting. 

A more unusual resort of a hunted fox, however, 
was witnessed by those out with the East Essex 
some years ago. The fox was found in a covert 
north-west of my Essex house. Champion Lodge, 
and running under our window made for Goldhanger 
Creek on the Blackwater — a real good point. There 
I espied him crouching on a small salting two hundred 
and fifty yards or thereabouts from the river wall. 
Of course the hounds could neither view nor wind 
him. I accordingly swam out to his coign of van- 
tage with the whole pack after me. Finder, a big 
black and white stallion hound I had from Jack 
Fricker, was first up, and the two leading hounds 
drowned poor Charlie. I at once proceeded to dive, 
and after some rather exhausting struggles recovered 
his carcass, which the hounds broke up on the salting. 

Another incident with the East Essex pack may 
perhaps be of some little interest to hunting men. 



70 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Once when the hounds were running I deemed it 
well to follow for a while along the line of the Great 
Eastern Railway, being afraid of losing them unless 
I took this course. Before very long I saw a train 
coming, and called out to an official who was near 
to open the gate. He refused, as it was, he declared, 
contrary to rules. There was no time to stop and 
argue with the man, so I managed to coax my horse 
over the signalling wires, and then dashed him over 
some posts and rails alongside the gate. Glancing 
round when these were successfully negotiated, I 
saw that we had got over not a moment too soon. 
It had been rather a ticklish position, though I was 
speedily out of it. 

Everleigh was Sir John Astley's Wiltshire seat, 
though in my time he never hunted with the Ted- 
worth. By the death of Sir John, or to give him 
his far more familiar name the *' Mate," I lost one of 
my oldest and best friends. Very fond of his prac- 
tical joke, he once, at one of his " sing-song nights," 
played rather a severe one on me. I got very sleepy 
after the dinner, and the fumes of smoke finally 
sent me of! into a profound slumber. The Mate 
could not resist the temptation of painting me a 
moustache with a burnt champagne cork. My son 
and a friend who were present permitted it with 
perhaps some misgivings. They would certainly 
have allowed no other man but Sir John Astley to 
take the liberty. Of course I was made to look 
distinctly ridiculous, and to add to the absurdity 
some one tried to wake me up, saying, " De Cres- 
pigny, do you know you have a moustache now ? " 
I only half woke up, and murmured, " Proper thing 




p. 70] 



SIB JOHN ASTLEY. 
(" The Mate." 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 71 

too for a cavalry officer." Afterwards I had to retire, 
and wash off the burnt cork — quite a long business. 
But it was impossible to take umbrage at anything 
the old Mate did in the way of a practical joke. He 
could have played any number on me with impunity. 

All the years I knew Sir John intimately, I never 
but once saw him " down on his luck." That was 
at Stockbridge Races many years ago. He was 
frightfully depressed for a day or so on that occasion 
— I knew not why — but the cloud soon passed com- 
pletely by. The Mate did undoubtedly bet at times 
in large sums of money. Once I recollect having a 
modest fiver with him at Stockbridge over some 
event or other. I lost. Meeting him on the course 
the next day I at once proposed to settle. Not having 
the exact sum I asked for change. He put his hand 
in his breast-coat pocket and drew out an enormous 
packet of bank-notes — thousands of pounds worth, 
it struck me. 

It was owing to Whyte Melville that I changed 
the venue for a little while from Hampshire and 
Wiltshire packs to the North Devon and Somerset. 
I never saw so much of that accomplished writer as 
I should have wished, but what I did confirmed me 
in my opinion, derived from his books, that he was 
a perfect gentleman and a true sportsman. Many 
people consider that his glowing panegyrics of the 
sport to be obtained in hunting the wild deer 
in Devon and Somerset were altogether overdone. 
Certainly some of the runs described in one or two of 
his works — notably that run in Katerfelto, when the 
stag was finally brought to bay at Watersmeet — seem 
incredible. The opportunity occurring, I put the 



72 FOETY YEAKS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

question to Whyte Melville whether such runs 
actually took place in the hunting of the red deer. 
*' Make no mistake," said he, " they sometimes are 
undeniably good/' So, soon after that I set out on 
horseback to the West. 

The Devon and Somerset yielded me fair but not 
exceptional sport. One adventure not connected 
with hunting, though resultant therefrom, I have 
often thought over since ; it was of the kind that 
are not easily forgotten. Leading my mare home 
one evening into the town of Dunster, my attention 
was attracted by a woman who came rushing out 
of a house hard by, and collided with me in her wild 
flight. A man came across the road in pursuit, and 
struck the fugitive with violence. I called upon 
him to instantly desist, whereupon he turned upon 
me with much savagery. I had scarcely let go my 
mare, who, being fatigued, stood still, before he 
assailed me. So sudden was the onslaught that I 
did not think of dropping my hunting crop, which 
I held in my right hand as I encountered his blows. 
I was not conscious of being particularly flustered, or 
of defending myself unskilfully, but for all that I 
soon found that I was getting all the worst of it. 
He seemed to get with ease through my guard, and 
to be raining in terrific blows. It was too dark to 
see properly the exact method of his attack, but 
when I found blood flowing freely from several cuts 
on the head I concluded — not a moment too soon — 
that there was foul play somewhere. I therefore 
landed him a blow on the side of the head with my 
crop, and he dropped like a stone in the road. I 
then discovered his secret power, and the instrument 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 73 

with which these strange and telUng blows had been 
administered. He held in his hand a big leather 
trace with a buckle that had cut me like a knife. 
How effectively the author of Lorna Doone, who has 
so picturesquely described the encounters of John 
Ridd and other west countrymen, could have dealt 
with this incident ! There was something distinctly 
out of the common in this short and sharp struggle — 
the place, the fast-waning light, and above all the 
mysterious blows combining to impart to it a weird 
element. When afterwards the facts of the case 
were brought to the notice of the police sergeant, 
he told me I had had a narrow shave. The man, 
who, by the way, was in liquor, possessed immense 
strength, being a match for any two in the district. 
" If he had closed with you, sir," quoth the sergeant, 
" nothing could have saved you." He added the 
information, that when not driving the coach to 
Ilfracombe, the fellow was leathering his wife's 
lovers. " We constantly have to lock him up," said 
the sergeant, " but it takes me and two of my men 
to do it." 

Whilst living at Durrington — which I often used 
to find from twenty to twenty-five miles distant at 
the end of a long day with the Tedworth ! — I would 
sometimes pay more than flying visits to the New 
Forest, where there was excellent shooting with nice 
mixed bags, and hunting. Captain Frank Lovell, 
a fine horseman, was out two days a week with his 
fifteen couple or so of hounds, and some of the runs 
with that pack have not inaptly been compared with 
hard bursts with the Devon and Somerset. A nice 
horsewoman was Miss Alma , then a well-known 



74 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

figure in New Forest fox-hunting circles. Smart 
too and supercilious with Cockney sportsmen was 
Miss Alma. Such a sportsman one day when the 
hounds were at fault imagined he had found the slot 
of the buck. He held up his hat to Miss Alma, who 
rode up. Now what he had really seen was the slot 
of a pig, which to the uninitiated eye closely resem- 
bles that of a buck. " Pig ! " exclaimed the young 
lady, looking hard at him, and instantly rode off. 

Occasionally I used to go out with the Hawking 
Club, though in no respect proficient in the art of 
falconry. The old Hawking Club came into existence 
in the year 1864. In the previous year the Hon. 
Charles Duncombe had done a good deal of rook 
hawking on the Wiltshire downs, with Barr as his 
falconer. The sport became so popular amongst 
some of the residents in the district, that it was 
found quite practicable to form a club, which took 
over the management of the hawks. Amongst the 
original members of the club were Lord Lilford, one 
of the greatest authorities on British birds, and 
author of the monumental work thereon, and the 
Maharajah Dhuleep Singh. But in after-years 
the club flourished chiefly owing to the exertions of 
the Hon. Gerald Lascelles, who was known as one of the 
foremost, if not the foremost authority on Hawking 
in the country. His work on the subject is of course 
indispensable to those who desire to devote them- 
selves to this decidedly interesting, if not intensely 
exciting, form of sport. Mr. Lascelles succeeded Mr. 
Duncombe in the Seventies as secretary and manager 
of the old Hawking Club. 

Mr. Lascelles has given us some particulars con- 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 75 

cerning the number of head of quarry killed during 
recent seasons by the club. The first of these records 
is contained in his own work on the subject in the 
Badminton Library. In 1887 the total bag was 576 
head, out of which the greatest number was com- 
posed of rooks ; but there were also over a hundred 
partridges, together with a sprinkling of other birds, 
and over a hundred rabbits killed. The club 
being a travelling one, is able to include on its list 
upwards of a hundred grouse killed in Scotland. 
Subsequently it did not go in for any game hawking in 
Scotland, and moreover, as it has not kept a goshawk 
of late, the returns are not quite so large as formerly. 
" I think," wrote Mr. Lascelles some years ago, " that 
more people take up hawking than formerly, but it 
can never become universally popular, because the 
greater part of the country is enclosed, and but few 
people can follow the sport at their own homes, 
whereas at one time most people could do so. It is 
perhaps the most scientific and difficult of all sports." 
Hawking has this advantage — it can be followed 
all the year round, which is the case with so very 
few of our sports and games. 

During this hunting period with the Tedworth, 
New Forest, and other packs, I was rarely present 
at steeplechases, save in the capacity of a spectator. 
I took part in one rather memorable meeting, how- 
ever, on April 5, 1877. This was the Beaufort Hunt 
at Dauntsey, near Chippenham. Though not quite 
so bad as Hurst Park course, round which two 
'Varsity Blues double-sculled during the great flood of 
1894, the scene of the Duke's annual meeting was so 
much under water that we could not have aspired 



76 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

to get round without swimming our horses, so the 
course had to be altered on the very morning of the 
races. I rode a mare called Countess, with whom I 
hunted with the Tedworth. But she was not much 
good in deep ground, and fell with me when about 
half way round. 

The racing, as the name of the meeting implies, 
was confined to hunters, and I cannot say that it 
was of a very sensational character. But there were 
some excellent riders taking part in the meeting ; 
amongst them Archie Miles, a really good man to 
hounds. My mare Countess, by the way, came from 
that favourite sportsman. Fog Rowlands, about whom 
many of us have pleasant recollections. 

The Durrington district was very handy for 
Stockbridge ; I attended the pleasant meetings there 
pretty regularly, and a little later on sometimes had 
a mount, though flat racing has been even less my 
metier in England than it was in India. Proposed 
by that grand old sailor, the late Admiral Rous, 
and seconded by the late Lord Portsmouth, I was 
elected a member of the Bibury Club, and enjoyed 
excellent sport and conviviality there. 

At times there used to be some rough company 
at Stockbridge. Once, with several members of the 
Bibury Club, amongst them Lord Marcus Beresford 
and Sir John Astley, I was dining in the coffee-room 
of the Grosvenor. Suddenly a most detestable 
odour arose, which quite put us off our dinner. 
What on earth could it be ? Whilst we were won- 
dering a raid was made on the door leading from the 
street to the entrance-hall by a handful of roughs, 
who evidently came to lay their hands on every article 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 77 

they could find worth carrying away. Marcus and 
I rushed to the door and managed to keep these 
fellows at bay. They could not do very much 
against us, as the passage was narrow and we quite 
filled between us the doorway. Great sport we had, 
both of us managing to work a good deal of havoc 
amongst the intruders. How it all comes back to 
me ! At length the roughs, getting better than they 
gave, retired, several of them with more or less broken 
heads. I had just got rid of one of my aggressors, 
and was rearranging my collar and tie, which had 
got misplaced, when old Peter Crawshaw of all men 
in the world came up, and intimated that the man 
on the ground was a particular friend of his. It 
looked as though I should now have to do battle with 
Peter, but taking a second look he discovered that 
he had made a mistake, and the matter ended in 
laughter. 

The appalling odour which had put us off our 
dinner was now accounted for. It seemed that 
one of these would-be looters had managed to pass 
the porter and waiters and to find his way into our 
room. There he proceeded to break a bottle of 
assafcetida, in the vain hope that its smell would 
clear the room, and so enable him and his fellows to 
make a clean sweep of any valuables therein. The 
disappointed rogues tried on the same game again 
higher up the street. They ended up the day in 
Andover Gaol. 

The Bibury Club has always been a very exclusive 
one. I recollect a candidate against whom no word 
seems to have been breathed, being " pilled " in 
a really extraordinary fashion. This candidate was 



78 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Lord , grandson of a great and rather notorious 

lawyer. It happened that when his name came up 
neither proposer nor seconder was present. Lord 

was not a regular racing man, and nobody in 

the room seems to have known anything at all about 
him. His name was received with ominous silence, 
and he was rejected. I was completely mystified, 
and whispered to the Duke of Hamilton, the President, 

" Why has Lord been pilled V " Must have 

been mistaken for his grandfather ! " was the reply. 
Had either proposer or seconder been present, Lord 

would surely have been elected, for there was 

nothing against him. 

The late Lord Portsmouth was to be seen regularly 
at Stockbridge meetings at this period. He was a 
rare good fox-hunter, and indeed a rare good fellow 
generally. Horse-racing was not his favourite pur- 
suit, and it was therefore not very extraordinary 
perhaps to find him once at Stockbridge taking 
evident interest in an animal which looked quite out 
of its element in the company of thoroughbreds. I 
remarked on the poor quality of this beast, and was 
tickled by his reply, " Yes ; but it would do very 
nicely for my second whip.'' It is not often you 
find a man engaged in spotting hunters at a race 
meeting like Stockbridge. 

It was just about the time when I settled at 
Durrington that Sandown Park was started, and I 
did not miss many of the first meetings. It is only 
fair to say that the credit of starting this most 
popular course belongs largely to Lord Charles Ker, 
though no doubt plenty of credit also attaches to those 
who, since his connection with Sandown ceased, have 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 79 

taken a great part in the work of making it one of the 
most successful and paying racing institutions in 
the country. The site was, I beheve, originally 
pointed out to Ker by the late Mr. J. Milward. He 
felt so satisfied that it was an excellent one that he 
purchased it, and forthwith proceeded to make a 
racecourse. He also planned the stands himself, 
originated the club, and got the first seven hundred 
members together. As stewards for the first year 
Ker got three excellent men in Admiral Rous, Lord 
Alington, and the late Mr. George Payne. Finally, 
he drew up the programme and the arrangements for 
the first meeting. He had long had a great ambition 
to improve suburban meetings, and to do this 
partly through an increase in the gate money, and 
by having nothing under £100 added to races. After- 
wards, as all the racing world knows, General Owen 
Williams, Hwfa Williams, and Sir Wilfrid Brett 
became connected with the course. Sandown was 
the first race meeting of the kind in England where 
gate money was made a feature. Now there are a 
number of courses conducted on pretty much the 
same lines. 

A man I used to see a good deal of about this time 
or a little later was John Chambers, one of the best 
pedestrians and oarsmen Cambridge ever turned 
out. He it was, it may be recollected, who started 
the Lillie Bridge grounds, where the 'Varsity 
sports used to be held, and revived the Leander 
Club. I gave a trophy for the Amateur Athletic 
Association High Jump, in which he was so much 
interested, and it is still competed for. Chambers 
was a fine swimmer, and may be said to have brought 



80 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

out Webb. As a pedestrian too he was at his 
best, and forty years ago or so was the first winner 
of the seven-mile champion race of the Amateur 
Athletic Club. He once offered to back himself, 
with George Payne, to walk twenty-one miles in three 
hours, which would have been a remarkable record had 
it come off. But the project fell through. He told 
me he was pretty confident that he would do it, and 
was sure of his first fourteen miles in two hours. 

Chambers was a close friend of Lord Queensberry^s 
at Cambridge, and though not very handy with the 
gloves himself, he thoroughly understood boxing. 
Indeed, Lord Queensberry assured me that he, prac- 
tically speaking, drew up the Queensberry rules. 
They were of course passed by Queensberry, but 
scarcely edited at all, save in one or two matters 
respecting weights, etc. That he did his work well 
is shown by the fact that the rules have undergone 
no substantial change since they were adopted. 

I trained for the Light Weight Amateur Boxing 
Championship, but in doing so put on no less than 
eight pounds, and not seeing the fun of wasting this 
additional weight flung it up. 

That Queensberry himself was no mean runner 
at one time will be readily conceded by those who 
can recall the incidents of a memorable and very 
sporting race he ran many years since against Fred 
Cotton, the author and composer of The Meynell 
Hunt. This race was a four-mile one over Bogside 
(Eglinton Hunt) Steeplechase course, and several 
stiffish obstacles had to be jumped. Cotton won, 
though only by six yards, after a magnificent race. 
The time was twenty-four minutes and fifteen seconds, 




p. SO] 



THE MARQUIS OF QUEENSBERRY. 
(" Q.") 



FOX-HUNTING AND OTHER DELIGHTS 81 

and the feat, under the circumstances, does not com- 
pare by any means badly with some of the best records 
of the day over a cinder track. Cotton was in those 
times a first-class runner and also walker. On one 
occasion he backed himself for a thousand to one to 
walk from Ashbourne in Derbyshire to a certain 
point in Perthshire, a distance of 347 miles, in seven 
consecutive days. His feet went all to pieces so early 
as the second day, and he actually fainted twice. 
He struggled on gamely, however, and won with 
three and a half hours in hand. Another remarkable 
performance of his at Christ Church, New Zealand, 
deserves to be placed on record : he walked for a wager 
one himdred miles in twenty-two hours. 

There are very few subjects in which Mr. Glad- 
stone was not interested. About horses, I have been 
told, he neither knew nor cared anything : but he 
used to be not a little interested in pedestrianism. 
Nearly forty years since I often met him at the house 
of a friend, and talked with him more than once on 
the subject. He was much concerned to know what 
a walker could accomplish without thoroughly ex- 
hausting himself. 



CHAPTER IV 

MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 

OHORTLY after the Wiltshire period, I was en- 
^^ abled to return once again to my old love, 
steeplechasing, and ever since 1880 have been 
almost continuously riding in meetings all over 
the country. In the early Eighties I got a good 
many mounts on my own and other horses — 
chiefly the former — though I was also addressing 
myself about this period to the pursuit of ballooning. 
Upon settling down in Essex, one of the first 
matters to which I turned my attention was, of all 
things in the world, party politics ! This was the 
first (and I hope it may be the last) time in my life 
that I took any share in the dull game of politics. 
Now-a-days, at any rate, it seems to be pretty gener- 
ally agreed, even amongst the combatants, that party 
warfare is so much " sound and fury signifying 
nothing." Sir William Abdy was standing for the 
division in which my house is situated, and I helped 
to canvass the district for him. However, insuffer- 
ably dull as party politics are as a rule, it chanced 
that there was a certain amount of sport in this 
particular election. 

82 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 83 

There was much fear that the factory hands — 
mostly confirmed Radicals — would not allow the 
freemen — most confirmed Tories — to come up to 
the poll, keeping them away by threats and by actual 
deeds of violence. I told the people who feared 
intimidation on the part of the factory folk, " What 
you want is a handful of fighting men to keep those 
fellows in order, and to get your free men to the poll/' 
They took up the idea, but gave me rather a large 
order. I was to draft down to Maldon three or four 
hundred fighting men. It was necessary to explain 
that there were not so many in England. However, 
we did get some men down who understood their 
business, and the freemen were able to record their 
votes all right. To make assurance doubly sure, a 
nice little gang of three score of coal-heavers, in 
addition to the trained pugilists, were drafted down 
from Colchester. I marshalled and commanded this 
force myself, but grieve to say that certain of the 
party officials, when they saw how thoroughly I had 
carried out the work, shunned me religiously on the 
day of the election ! 

Whilst on this subject of latter day electioneering, 
it may not be out of place to turn back to the time 
of my grandfather, the late Sir John Tyrell. He 
was in Essex politics for not less than half a century, 
making his debut in 1826. In that year Sir John 
stood on the hustings to second the nomination of 
the Hon. G. Winn. It was a great contest, very 
protracted, very bitter, frightfully costly. It was 
said indeed that Mr. Winn's dearly-purchased victory 
on that occasion cost him the greater part of £50,000. 
But that contest was not half so eventful as one 



84 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

which took place four years later for the county of 
Essex, when my grandfather was the Tory candidate 
against Mr. CoUis, afterwards Lord Western, a Whig 
politician of considerable note, and Mr. Long Welles- 
ley, a nephew of the Duke of Wellington. Mr. Welles- 
ley went so far in his virulent abuse of Sir John 
Tyrell that he had to be called to account. He 
disclaimed, however, somewhat after the usual custom 
of politicians at the present time when heaping 
terms of abuse on each other, any intention of assail- 
ing his opponent's personal honour. My grandfather 
accepted this disclaimer, but took the opportunity 
of intimating that he was "to be found at Boreham 
House,"' if wanted at any time. Good old days those 
were, with all their corrupt electioneering ! A 
politician then was deemed not a madman nor a 
criminal, but an upright gentleman, because he held 
his life not more valuable than his honour. Sir John 
eventually headed the poll, Mr. Western and Mr. 
Wellesley coming second and third respectively. 

Rather curiously, though this Mr. Wellesley, who 
afterwards became Lord Mornington, did not see 
his way to take on my grandfather. Sir John Tyrell, 
he was actually engaged in a duel later on with my 
great-uncle — the Rev. Heaton de Crespigny — who 
prior to being a parson fought in the celebrated action 
between the Amelia and L'Arethuse. Wellesley had 
insulted Sir William de Crespigny, his father, who 
was paralyzed, and my great-uncle accordingly had 
him out. " You think I have only got a black coat," 
he said to Wellesley ; " you are wrong : I've a 
shooting one as well." 

This engagement between the Amelia and 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 85 

UArethuse is quite one of the most interesting inci- 
dents in the naval history of the century, and it is 
curious that it should be so little known in comparison 
with the contest between the Shannon and Chesa- 
peake, or between Sir Kichard Grenville's Revenge 
and the Spanish fleet. Tennyson has made the 
latter immortal in his ballad, but it has been ques- 
tioned whether the melting away of Lord Howard 
into the " silent summer heaven " on that occasion 
with five ships of war, was altogether a creditable 
affair, though the post did his best to exonerate his 
discreet lordship. In the duel between the Amelia 
and UArethuse, on the other hand, there is nought 
that reflects anything save glory on all concerned 
on the British side. 

The incident took place early in Feb. 1813, 
during the great war with France. Captain Irby, 
whose family, by the way, intermarried with mine, 
was just thinking of leaving Sierra Leone, where 
his ship, the Amelia, had been stationed for a while, 
when a Lieutenant Pascoe came in hot haste to the 
Sierra Leone river with the crew of the gun-brig 
Daring, which he had been obliged to run ashore 
and blow up in consequence of having been pursued 
by a French frigate backed up by two other ships. 
A reconnoitring party was at once despatched by 
Captain Irby, who soon found a force consisting of 
two frigates, of the largest and most powerful class, 
named UArethuse and Le Rubis, together with a 
Portuguese ship that they had captured. Captain 
Irby left Sierra Leone and worked up to the Islands 
of de Loss. He speedily fell in with UArethuse, and 
endeavoured, not unsuccessfully, to draw her ofi her 



86 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

consort, as he was naturally not anxious to engage 
both these powerful vessels at the same time if he 
could help it. When the last vestige of Le Rubis had 
disappeared, the captain of the Amelia shortened 
sail, and stood towards his threatening and probably 
overweeningly confident foe. The French ship was 
far stronger in guns and complement than the 
British, and eagerly availed herself of the invita- 
tion to battle. She carried on her deck some heavy 
French twenty-four-pounders in addition to other 
guns. 

At about seven in the evening the French ship 
ran up her colours, and three-quarters of an hour 
later, the two vessels being then within pistol-shot 
of one another, a great duel commenced. Both fired 
the shots at about the same time, and both preserved 
throughout the encounter pretty well the same 
position. For over three hours and a half they 
poured shot into each other. All the onslaughts of 
L'Arethuse were repulsed by the brave men of the 
Amelia, who, like the men of the Revenge, shook of! 
the Frenchmen — 

" as a dog that shakes his ears 
When he leaps from the water to the land." 

Then at length L'Arethuse bore away. She went 
with many dead and wounded on board and not 
uninjured as to her hull, and made no further 
attempt then or afterwards to tackle the Amelia. 
The British ship, when the duel was ended, was found 
to be in a quite ungovernable condition. Her sails 
and rigging were all cut to pieces, and her masts lay 
in ruins about the decks. Captain Irby was himself 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 87 

wounded when on the quarter-deck, and his hst of 
killed and wounded numbered 141. The Amelia, it 
should be mentioned, had, like the little Revenge, a 
number of sick men on board, and she had barely 
her full complement fit for duty when she dared the 
French ship. Some may feel inclined to ask, like 
little Casper, what good came of it at last ; but few 
will deny that it is a splendid incident in the history 
of our Navy. 

The afiair above mentioned between Heaton de 
Crespigny and Wellesley took place in the year 1828, 
and is thus described in a newspaper of that time : 
** On Thursday, a duel was fought on the sands at 
Calais between Mr. Long Wellesley and Mr. De 
Crespigny. The dispute originated in a remark made 
by Mr. Wellesley respecting some parts of the con- 
duct of Mr. De Crespigny 's father. He was requested 
to retract it ; and on his refusal a challenge was sent 
to him by the two Mr. De Crespignys, when all the 
parties started at full speed from Dover to Calais. 
Colonel John Freemantle of the Guards was second 
to Mr. Wellesley, and Captain Brooke, also of the 
Guards, attended his antagonist. The duel was fought 
on the sands immediately after the arrival of the 
seconds. Both parties fired together on a given 
signal at the distance of ten paces, and neither of 
them happening to be wounded, the seconds iixmie- 
diately interfered. A question here arose with 
respect to the second challenge, as to how far it was 
or was not to be accepted, when Captain Brooke 
decided that Mr. Long Wellesley had done as much 
as he was required to do. The parties then separated 
and returned from Calais on Friday morning to 



8B FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Dover, where Mrs. Bligh at the York Hotel was 
waiting with great anxiety the arrival of Mr. Welles- 
ley, and accompanied by him and Colonel Freemantle, 
she has since left Dover for London." The final 
paragraph has more than a spice of the new and 
personal journalism about it. 

My own views on duelling were freely expressed 
some years since in the press, and they have under- 
gone no change since then. The duel, when it gener- 
ally prevailed in this country, was not without its 
grave attendant evils, but the same may be said of 
many desirable institutions. The code of honour 
which regulated the acts of the Iron Duke is surely 
good enough for most of us, and we all know that 
he was not inclined to shirk a duel when his personal 
honour was concerned. 

Most men who have reached the meridian of life 
can recall some fracas or episode in which insulting 
expressions have been made use of by those supposed 
to be of the creme de la creme in the world of society, 
when an appeal to mortal combat has been suggested 
as the only method of settling the difficulty ; and 
why the trusty steel of these fire-eating but degene- 
rate descendants of gallant gentlemen has remained 
unsheathed has always been a mystery to me. Of 
course — though challenges are perhaps more fre- 
quently flying about amongst English gentlemen than 
the world seems to be aware of — it would be an act 
of folly to go out in this country, law and custom 
both prohibiting it. But, across the water, duelling 
is practically winked at. I would not go so far as 
to say that the injured party is compelled to parade 
the wrong-doer, but I do maintain that should the 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 89 

latter be challenged, he is bound, if a gentleman, to 
go out. 

One of the last duels fought in this country was 

between Colonel H and Lord M . The 

former, whom I knew well for many years, but whose 
full name I refrain from giving in order not to cause 
pain to his family, was a wonderfully fine pistol-shot. 
But in this instance, owing probably to the sun 
being in his face as he fired, his ball only grazed his 

opponent's face. Lord M discharged his weapon 

in the air. 

Before quitting the subject, I may refer to a 
curious memento which used to be worn by Baron 
Malortie, whom I have already alluded to as a duellist. 
This was a bullet made into a scarf-pin. It had 
struck him on a rib over the heart, and been cut out 
near the spine. He wore this, believing that it 
would bring him luck in future combats. 

This duelling digression has taken me a good way 
from the subject of steeplechasing, with which the 
chapter commenced. I had for some time before 
settling down in Essex had it in my mind to have 
one day a cross-country meeting of my own. At 
that time Lord Guildford, so far as I am aware, was 
about the only man who had carried out such an 
idea. His meetings at Waldershare were a decided 
success, though I do not speak from personal ex- 
perience, never having ridden there myself. More 
recently Mr. Harry McCalmont has established a 
course on his own estate, though naturally on a more 
princely scale than that at either Waldershare or 
Champion Lodge. Moreover, the Waldershare and 
Champion Lodge steeplechasing meetings were 



90 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

started with the idea of catering principally for local 
hunts, which was not, I take it, Mr. McCalmont's 
object. I had already had experience in making a 
steeplechase course, having been engaged in the work 
in India. In the autumn of 1876 I made a course 
for my regiment at Seetapore. I tried Baby Blake 
over some of the jumps, and, when the meeting came 
off, won a good race. Few cross-country riders 
have had the chance perhaps of winning about the 
first race over a course they have themselves made. 
The task of making a steeplechase course in India 
in those days was not a hard one to a man with any 
knowledge of the sport. There were no regulations 
as regards the jumps, and native labour was cheap. 
My Seetapore course was a mile round, and the 
jumps consisted of a stiffish double, a mud-wall, and 
bush fences. I superintended, and set two or three 
riflemen to keep an eye on the natives employed. 
In March 1881 we set to work to make a course at 
Champion Lodge, and in less than a week had it 
ship-shape. The expenses were inconsiderable, as 
the work was performed by men in my own employ. 
There were several suitable fields round my house, 
and practically all we had to do was to make the 
necessary jumps, and erect a stand or two. It was 
necessary later on, but not at the time of the first 
meeting, to comply with the regulations as regards 
fences, etc., laid down by the stewards of the National 
Hunt, as the meetings were to be held under the aegis 
of that body ; but this proved an easy enough task. 
As regards stands, I found a man ready enough to 
put up one for nothing on the condition that he 
should be allowed to erect a second one on his own 




CHAMPION LODGE : THE HALL 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 91 

account, and charge those who use it a small sum. 
We decided not to go on the gate-money principle. 
It would not have tended to make the meetings popu- 
lar in the district, and the object of the Champion 
Lodge private course has always been to afiord sport 
and amusement to Essex folk, as well as to our own 
immediate circle of friends. 

The posts and rails, as every one knows, have 
been abolished in steeplechasing ; and we never had 
them at our little meeting. Some people think 
that the change was not for the best. The last time 
I rode over posts and rails was at Ipswich. They 
certainly had this drawback, that horses occasionally 
got into a habit of chancing them, as they chance 
hurdles, with evil results. A stickler for timber 
jumps persisted on having posts and rails once at 
Aldershot. General Byrne was one of the stewards. 
*' Very well," said he ; " what height will you have 
them ? " The reply was " three feet six inches."' 
They were put up, and on the day of the meeting 
the only man who came to grief was the stickler him- 
self. He broke his collar-bone over this particular 
jump. 

At Ipswich the posts and rails were substituted 
one year for the big double fence — which was properly 
a couple of fences with a space of a yard or so between 
— but found a failure, and once more abandoned. 
There was a certain feeling against this big fence, and 
I was approached by the malcontents and asked to 
get up an indignation meeting in the matter. I 
declined, not regarding the jump with disfavour. 

The abolition of the posts and rails may to a 
certain degree have lessened the danger of steeple- 



92 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

chasing. In a blinding storm, for instance, the 
jump was sometimes a difficult one to see properly. 
Does the lessening of danger in this, and other respects, 
tend to emasculate the cross-country sport ? People 
are constantly asking me whether I consider that 
steeplechasing has degenerated since I first donned 
colours. On the whole, I am not prepared to say 
that it has. The horses are far finer creatures than 
they were a quarter of a century ago : no " cock- 
tail," such as often used to win in those days, would 
have a chance in a big race now. Then the courses 
are far more numerous, as are also the riders. Last, 
but not least, the pace is greater and the jumping 
more perfect. At the same time, though it will be 
seen I am not indiscriminately in this matter a 
laudator temforis acti, I sun. bound to admit that to 
a certain degree steeplechasing to-day is rather 
inclined to become, in certain respects, a kid-glove 
kind of business compared with what it was of yore. 
Many of the best and biggest courses are attended 
to almost like tennis-lawns or cricket-pitches. The 
*' take-off " and landing in particular are looked 
after with the greatest care. When a frost threatens, 
straw is usually put down to keep the ground from 
becoming too hard, and one even hears of the whole 
course being in some instances treated with the same 
tenderness. Then all the jumps are strictly in 
accordance with regulation. In short, there is an 
undoubted tendency now-a-days to, as it were, " cut 
and dry " our steeplechasing. 

A similar tendency evinces itself in various other 
sports. We become more scientific and more 
methodical. Compare, for instance, the hunting of 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASTNG 93 

big game as practised to-day with the same sport as 
practised a quarter of a century ago. We face big 
game now with weapons which make the clumsy old 
rifle seem a thing only fit to be put in the hands of 
a savage ; and in proportion as our weapons become 
more perfect our method of big-game shooting must 
become more of the kid-glove kind. When I first 
entered the steeplechasing world, we had often on 
quite important courses to face in bad weather the 
most frightful ground. To ride over heavy ploughed 
land was quite the rule rather than the exception, 
and the jumps were often of the rudest character. 
It is when I contrast this state of things with existing 
conditions that I feel inclined to use the expression 
kid-glove style in reference to steeplechasing at the 
present time. On the other hand, the vast improve- 
ment in horses makes great amends for the falling 
of! in these respects. The steeplechase is to-day, 
as ever, a magnificent form of sport. 

I doubt, however, whether it would long remain 
so if the safety-at-any-price party had their way. 
I have admitted candidly that the posts and rails 
had drawbacks, but really there are people calling 
themselves sportsmen, well nigh ready to put an 
end to jumping altogether. There is the open-ditch 
scare, which periodically arises. Drawing-room 
sportsmen take exception to the open ditch because, 
so they declare, no horse can manage it with safety 
unless regularly educated over a wholly artificial 
jump ; and it has even been described as a death- 
trap. When Sly came to grief over the open ditch 
— as we all must expect to do more or less from time 
to time — the Grand National Hunt were adjured to 



94 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

do away with it. Lord Queensberry proved con- 
clusively some years ago that the agitation against 
the open ditch was a most unreasonable one, in- 
stancing the number of times it was negotiated in the 
Grand National without any casualty. 

According to my experience, the open ditch is 
right enough provided a horse has been properly 
schooled, for naturally out hunting one finds as many 
ditches on the take-off side as on the landing ; whilst 
with guard-rails, which most steeplechase courses have, 
the take-off is much more distinct to the horses. Of 
course it happens now and then that a most perfect 
fencer will slip in taking-off. Lord Chancellor, the 
best of fencers, went wrong thus, and old Champion 
more recently, at the mature age of twelve years, 
slipped into the open ditch at Plumpton, where I 
have on one occasion found myself, and alongside 
of which poor Billy Sensier was killed. Some say 
that this ditch at Plumpton is the most formidable 
in the south of England. 

But the bulk of " the grief " is simply owing to 
a lot of half-schooled four-year-olds bringing down 
other horses. Sly's accident, I was informed by 
reliable eye-witnesses, was attributable to the severity 
of the pace, which had exhausted the horse, so that 
a sheep-hurdle would have been as likely to have 
caused the mischief as the open ditch which actually 
did so. 

Before quitting this subject, a few words may be 
said about the agitation against steeplechasing on 
the ground that it entails frequent cruelty to animals. 
Almost as much has been said on this score at various 
times as on that of damage to the riders. It is moon- 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 95 

shine. The number of accidents fatal to man and 
beast on the steeplechase course are remarkably few, 
and the sufferings of the latter are, on the whole, as 
nothing compared to those endured by many a 
London cab-horse. No pains are spared to get 
steeplechasers into the most perfect condition. They 
live in the best stables, and on carefully selected oats 
and hay, in return for which they are expected to 
make an effort lasting for a few seconds about a 
dozen times in the year, and to negotiate fences over 
which they are constantly schooled. Moreover, the 
pain suffered by horses that do come to grief would 
seem to have been, except in the case of breakdowns, 
altogether exaggerated. At all events, I have myself 
observed a horse with a broken back calmly grazing, 
though necessarily unable to move its hind-quarters. 
A broken leg is comparatively painless until stiffness 
sets in, and before that, as a rule, a friendly bullet 
has done its work. 

The opening meeting of the Champion Lodge 
Hunt and Military Steeplechases took place about a 
fortnight after the course was got into final order, 
namely, on March 30, 1881. The programme con- 
sisted of six events, namely, Farmers' Cup, Ladies' 
Cup, Hunt Cup, Military Cup, Consolation Steeple- 
chase, and a match. The course was about a mile 
in length, and there were about half-a-dozen jumps. 
The fences were regarded as rather stiff ones, the in 
and out being the most ticklish to negotiate. There 
was no serious accident, but a fair number of tumbles, 
and one horse looked as if it were done for, though 
it ultimately turned out that it was not injured at all. 
The most popular win was probably that of Billy 



96 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

White, who steered his horse Tommy Dodd to victory 
in the Hunt Cup. Billy at the time was between 
fifty and sixty years of age, yet he romped in as he 
was wont to do at Middlewick. The Ladies' Cup 
fell to Lady de Crespigny's Wild Georgie, which I 
rode myself. Cartridge got beaten in the match by 
Mr. Laurence's Sam, ridden by owner. 

Previous to this meeting at Champion Lodge, I 
had been getting my hand in a little over a few local 
courses. For instance, on September 18, 1880, Wild 
Georgie carried me to victory in the Officers' Challenge 
Cup, in the Regimental Races, got up by the Loyal 
Suffolk Hussars at Bury. We all rode this cup race 
twice over, owing to an odd mistake made by Colonel 
Blake, who was leading, and took us the wrong course. 
The mistake discovered, we had to return, and re- 
ride the race. 

It does sometimes happen that in a mist or a bad 
light a jockey goes round the wrong post by accident. 
But once at Bury St. Edmunds, in a race I was riding 
in, I could not bring myself to believe that an oppo- 
nent who did so was quite unaware of his mistake. 
In this instance the leading horse went wrong, and 
whilst the other jockeys in front of me were turning 
their heads to chaff their friend, they missed a post 
themselves. Being second, I lodged an objection 
against one of these jockeys who beat me, and with 
several witnesses in my favour, including the rider 
who first went wrong, the decision went against him. 
Still he swore thick and thin that he had not done 
anything of the kind. I accordingly went down the 
course with him, and pointed out where the thing 
had taken place. As it happened, I was able to show 




SIR CLAUDE CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY. 



p. 96] 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 97 

his horse's footmarks on the wrong side of the post. 
This seemed conchisive, but still he persevered in 
his well-played part of injured innocence. " Those 
are the footmarks, Sir Claude," he exclaimed, as a 
last resort, " of a cantering, not a galloping horse ! " 
He afterwards got warned off, and eventually took 
to driving a hansom cab. 

Many a jockey has lost a good race, more especially 
no doubt in bad weather, through being deceived by 
a post. These little things happen much more often 
than many onlookers may suppose in both racing 
and steeplechasing, and help to increase the glorious 
uncertainty of the sport. Billy Bevill once pointed 
me out a post at a Bibury meeting which he described 
as one that had been the means of losing more races 
in its time than any other in England. " Do you 
see the one I mean ? " he asked, pointing it out to 
me. " Perfectly," I replied. We advanced a few 
yards. " Do you see it now ? " he asked, and I 
found that I had quite lost sight of it. Curiously 
enough, this post won Bevill a race on that very 
day a few hours later. Jewitt, whilst leading, was 
deceived by it, and took the favourite, who was 
following him, out of the course. That gave Bevill 
a good lead, which he maintained, winning easily. 

Earlier in 1881 my mare Cartridge, whom I had 
purchased in the New Forest from an officer quartered 
at Christchurch, and brought with me to Essex, won 
a jumping competition in some sports got up by 
Major Yeldham at Yeldham. She cleared the hurdles 
very clean, and so won the prize, though pitted 
against a decidedly brilliant jumper, who only a 
short time before was first at the Agricultural Hall 

7 



98 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

with a jump of six feet three inches. On this occasion 
my opponent " chanced " the hurdles, and so got 
beaten by Cartridge. 

I must not omit to mention a remarkable accident 
to a horse which I witnessed early in the same year, 
when out with the East Essex near Braxted Park. 
Huzzar, a horse belonging to my brother, which a 
friend was riding, got pierced in the stomach by a 
stake, and died in two minutes, owing doubtless to 
the severance of an artery. Colonel Holroyd, an 
old Master of Hounds in my part of the world, was 
near when the strange accident occurred, and called 
me back just in time to see the horse fall over, with 
a stream of blood pouring out of the wound. The 
injury was inflicted by a pointed stake, which had 
evidently been removed from its place in the hedge 
in order to make a gap. Both ends were pointed, 
and after removal from the hedge one stuck in the 
ground, whilst the other was tilted up at an angle of 
forty-five or so, by the horse's fore-foot, just right 
for spearing a horse in the stomach. As luck would 
have it, the horse had been sold only the same day 
at Brighton. 

We have happily never had any fatal accident, 
though now and then a few unimportant ones, on 
the Champion Lodge course. In 1882, however, I 
came very near killing Mr. Bruen in a way not alto- 
gether dissimilar to that recorded above. In finishing 
the race for the United Service Cup, my horse, 
Twelfth Cake, trod on, and struck upwards, the 
spike of the flag. Bruen was coming up immediately 
behind me, and the stake grazed his horse's shoulder, 
actually removing some of the hair without drawing 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 99 

blood. Seeing what had happened, Bruen instantly 
loosened his grip of the saddle and allowed the lance 
to pass between his thigh and the saddle-flap. He 
carried the thing a few paces, and then opened his 
thigh and let it drop — a very narrow escape for both 
horse and rider. 

A trip to Aldershot in April 1881 was not pro- 
ductive of much sport. I did not take part in the 
Point-to-Point Steeplechase on the 13th, which was 
ridden along the Hog's Back, and finished on a farm 
of Mr. Shrubb, a late Master of the Tedworth ; 
whilst a week later Wild Georgie refused, and spoilt 
any chance I had of winning the steeplechase open 
to officers of the Auxiliary Cavalry. 

The next entry in my diary is May 9, 1881. Mar- 
cus Beresford and myself repaired to Epsom, I to 
ride Twelfth Cake. The horse was purchased from 
Marcus, and won some fair races in this and following 
years. On May 12 Twelfth Cake, with myself up, 
got first past the post in the Military Steeplechases 
at Ipswich. In this race Wilson Todd, on Punchbowl, 
came down at the fence opposite the Stand, and the 
crowd rushed in apparently ignorant of the fact that 
there were other horses to come up. I was last up, 
and to stop was out of the question. Twelfth Cake 
went in amongst the mob pell-mell, and bade fair 
to make some human mincemeat. There seemed to 
be eight or ten of them down at the same time. I 
know that it occurred to me that about the next 
place I should find myself in would be a coroner's 
court instead of a racecourse ; but no serious damage 
seems to have been done, and Twelfth Cake, despite 
this incident, won the race. On the same day I was 



100 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

successful with Wild Georgie, in a match against 
Silvertail, who was ridden by the owner. 

On the following day there was more chasing, and 
Twelfth Cake was entered for one race. Finding, 
however, I could not ride the weight, I put up a boy, 
who rode well enough, but got beaten. On the 14th 
there was pigeon-shooting, and I won the Regimental 
Cup and double rise. Indeed, I was in good cup form 
at this meeting, winning three in all, namely, Swords- 
manship, Pigeon-shooting, and Regimental. It was 
at Ipswich that the Duke of Hamilton made a present 
of Pudding to Wenty Hope Johnstone. Many 
people thought that the horse was an utter crock, 
but after he had passed out of the Duke's hands he 
won a heap of races. As a six-year-old this horse — 
who was by Brown Bread out of Claretto, and was a 
half-brother of Twelfth Cake — won no less than 
eleven races, giving on one occasion as much as lOlbs. 
to Johnnie Longtail. 

Four days later came the Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 
Races, when for the second time running I won on 
Wild Georgie the Challenge Cup, and was therefore 
entitled to keep it. This mare was an undeniably 
useful one. She was by Rosicrucian out of Bel 
Esperanza. The former, all racing men know, was 
one of Sir Joseph Hawley's very best. Walking 
early in the Seventies from Oxford to Southampton, 
I looked up Porter at Kingsclere, and he told me 
that the world had no idea of what a superb horse 
Rosicrucian really was. He said he wanted to bring 
him out once more, to let people see how good he was, 
and then put him to stud. Rosicrucian was brought 
out after this at Ascot, and won the Ascot Stakes 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 101 

carrying 9 stone, and the Alexandra Plate carrying 
9 stone 7 lbs. He made hacks of all his opponents. 
Bel Esperanza does not appear to have been a par- 
ticular flier. Wild Georgie was purchased from old 
John Tubb, the Winchester dealer, quite a char- 
acter in his line. Once a horse let out for the day 
by Tubb bolted with the carriage and its unhappy 
occupants the best part of the way back from 
Cranberry Park to Winchester. Arrived home, the 
hirer remonstrated with the worthy dealer, saying 
that this was about the hottest specimen of a nag 
he had ever had, which was saying a good deal, from 
those stables. Thereupon Tubb quietly called his 
irate customer's attention to the extreme originality 
displayed in the fixing of the reins, which had been 
buckled to the rings of the collar. 

On another occasion Tubb found it more difficult 
to defend himself. An officer had entrusted a horse 
to the dealer, with injunctions to give him a nice 
loose box, as he needed rest. He returned from 
leave to the stables before Tubb expected him, and 
could not see his horse until a team from Hambledon 
Races came in. In that team was his animal. De- 
nunciation ensued : " Well," exclaimed the aggrieved 
dealer, " if this isn't hard on me, sir ! I never can 
do anything wrong without being found out ! " 

This meeting of the Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 
was in one respect unfortunate for those taking part 
therein. All the horses were disqualified for ever 
afterwards. The event had been sent in a few hours 
too late to appear in the Calendar. This being so, the 
best thing for Wild Georgie was to go and try her 
fortune in a race or two abroad. I saw her of! at 



102 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

St. Catherine's Wharf next month, having lent her 
to a gunner friend, who was keen on winning a race 
at Spa. He only managed, however, to be placed 
second. 

A little incident in connection with an old acquain- 
tance of mine. Baker, which took place about this 
time, will perhaps not be read without interest by 
the many admirers of that most gallant and excellent 
soldier. On June 25, 1881, I came to town for the 
purpose of giving my vote at the " Rag " in the 
matter of his candidature for re-election. I rather 
fancy that Baker is the one instance of a member 
of the " Rag " being re-elected after his resignation. 
There was rather a strong contingent against him, 
and as a result the balloting was a close thing. I 
was with my brother during the balloting, and when 
his turn came observed that he had selected a 
light-coloured ball, and was about to flip it carelessly 
into either pocket. Now, though a light-coloured 
ball, it would if it had gone into the wrong pocket 
have been counted as a black ball. Fortunately I 
just warned him in time, and he sent his ball into 
the right pocket. On a balance there was only a very 
narrow margin, two or three in favour of Baker, so 
that if my brother had sent the ball into the wrong 
pocket it would actually have been a case of rejection. 
No doubt Baker felt his practical banishment from 
England acutely, but in a way it was the making of 
him. I mean it is likely that had it not been for 
this he would never have had the splendid oppor- 
tunities which actually presented themselves to him 
in the Russo-Turkish war and in Egypt. Surely 
the proudest moment of his life must have been when 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 103 

the Colonel of his old regiment requested Baker 
to place himself at its head for a brief while. It is 
difficult to conceive a greater triumph for an officer 
than this. 

Less serious perhaps was the attempt made at 
the same club some years later by a small clique to 
get rid of me, because I went to Carlisle to see that 
no hitch occurred in connection with the execution 
of three murderers there. An ex-High Sheriff having 
informed me my name was likely to be pricked for 
the office of sheriff, I considered that I was not ex- 
ceeding my duty in seeing to a matter of this kind. 
The attempt to remove my name from the list of 
members of the club proved an utter failure. Two 
V. C. men led the opposition in my favour, and an 
overwhelming majority voted against my expulsion. 

In my diary for the summer and early autumn of 
1881 were entries concerning cricket matches, of 
which I rather fancy I was not always magna fars 
in either batting or bowling — lawn-tennis, and — 
haymaking ! In the autumn and winter of the same 
year I devoted myself more to fox-hunting and shoot- 
ing than to chasing ; but on one occasion I won a 
race or two at a meeting at Galleywood Common in 
October. Cartridge in a match turned the tables 
on Sam, and Wild Georgie won the Hack Race. The 
meeting was of a decidedly hole-and-corner char- 
acter, and was not held under National Hunt Rules. 
We never got paid our stakes, and perhaps it served 
us right for taking part in such a bogus meeting. I 
recollect amongst other things that the muddled 
starter asked me how many horses there were at the 
post ! In those days they were not so mightily 



104 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

particular, and probably experiences similar to my 
Galleywood Common one have fallen to the lot of 
a good many men who rode much at that time, and 
were ready to ride anywhere if there was a chance 
of sport. 

In its palmy days, though, Galleywood had 
amongst its patrons some very prominent sports- 
men, such as Admiral Rous, General Wood, Caledon 
Alexander, and Prince Soltykoff, all of whom have 
now, alas ! joined the great majority. 

Riding through the heavens rather than on the 
earth took my fancy in the following year. But as 
my ballooning expeditions have been invariably 
made in the summer time, aeronautics did not greatly 
militate against steeplechasing. Before 1882 was 
very old, I had been in the saddle more than once 
at Epsom, riding Twelfth Cake, Ethiopian, and other 
horses in Jones's stables. My visits indeed to Epsom 
all through the Eighties were neither few nor far 
between, and one and all were directed to the stables 
of my old mentor Jack Jones. The two best cross- 
country jockeys at the time when I first seriously 
addressed myself to steeplechasing in England were, 
in my opinion, Jack Jones and Bob I'Anson. The 
former taught me much of what I know about riding. 
For nine years he was top of the tree amongst cross- 
country jockeys — a brilliant record. Bewicke and 
Nightingall were worthy successors of Jones and 
I'Anson. 

At one time and another a good many criticisms, 
some complimentary, some the reverse, have been 
passed on my riding, and some years ago the Sforts- 
man was discoursing on what is not inaptly called 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 105 

the " free cant back," which has been identified with 
my style of horsemanship. This so-called " cant 
back," one of the great and obvious advantages of 
which is the removal of the weight in jumping from 
of! the horse's shoulder, was eminently characteristic 
of Jones's style of horsemanship, and I suppose I 
fell into the same style myself from riding so much 
with him at the time. That superb rider Billy 
Morris, like Jack Jones, was certainly a believer 
in the " cant back," and I have noticed the same 
in Arthur Nightingall, and other amateur and pro- 
fessional riders. 

Here is the reference in the Sportsman — a very 
friendly one : " Do not let any one think that I am 
holding Sir Claude de Crespigny up as a model steeple- 
chase rider, though I will say this for him — none 
sits better over his fences than he does. I allude 
specially to the free cant hack on landing, which so 
few ever master. Arthur Nightingall is one of those 
few, and I have often thought on seeing him landing 
over a fence with his horse's croup nearly touching 
his back, what a lot he must save his mount as com- 
pared with the crouched-up images who are never off 
their horses' shoulders." 

A sly fellow, when he chose, was Jack Jones. One 
day, discussing with him the merits of various 
jockeys, I remarked on the admirable riding of men 
like Billy Morris and Greville Nugent. " I suppose, 
Jack," I said, " you don't expect to see many more 
soldier riders as good as those two ? " " Ah, indeed, 
no," he replied ; " let's see, sir ; Mr. Greville 
Nugent — ah, yes, I knew the gentleman, and, if I 
recollect aright, he was killed at Sandown." This 



106 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

was pretty cool, coming from one who not a great 
while before had admitted before a coroner's jury- 
that he had himself jumped on Nugent, and been 
the cause of his death. 

To return to chasing in 1882. On March 13, 1882, 
we had our Champion Lodge Steeplechases, then 
becoming a regular annual fixture in the East An- 
glian sporting world. This year the whole country 
side turned out to see the sport, and Maldon was 
quite a howling wilderness. Some thousands of 
spectators favoured us with their presence, and the 
vehicles were most remarkable for their variety. 
" Every sort of vehicle,'" said a report, " that would 
run on wheels was there, from the well-appointed 
barouche and fast drag to the humble cart drawn by 
the ' poor man's Arabian.' " The course was almost 
the same as in the preceding year, but the events 
limited to four. Mr. Bruen on his two mounts, 
Bunny and Cronstadt, and my brother and myself 
were fortunate enough to share between us the spoils 
on this occasion. The Hunt Cup produced the best 
race ; Jimmy, ridden by my brother, beating Twelfth 
Cake, the favourite, ridden by myself, by a head, 
after a sharp set-to. 

At Galleywood, a fortnight later, I won the Bad- 
dow Steeplechase on Twelfth Cake, and recollect that 
I beat Mr. Tippler's Lizabeth, which was placed 
second, owing, to some extent at any rate, to the 
kind coaching of the late Major Bringhurst, who 
knew the course far better than most of us. Bring- 
hurst was a good sportsman in very truth, and it 
is interesting to record the fact that it was he who 
gave George Fordham his first winning mount on 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 107 

Hampton, a two-year-old, in the Brighton Stakes, 
fifty-eight years ago. I sent a picture of the jockey 
and the horse to the Duke of Beaufort, who was 
naturally much interested in all relating to Fordham, 
and it is hung in the smoking-room at Badminton. 

A lesser event was a match between Wild Georgie 
and Jimmy, a horse belonging to, and ridden by, my 
brother. They laid 2 to 1 on my mount, and two 
hundred yards or so from home Jimmy was done 
for, and I was suffered to win anyhow. Twelfth Cake 
came out again in a hurdle race the same day, but 
was well beaten by Mr. J. Goodwin's Gold Finder. 

The hardest race I ever rode in and won, was over 
this course at Galley wood. Part of the course was 
across a field which had been very recently ploughed 
up by the Derby Digger. It was so heavy that we 
all had to slack into a slow trot, and when the horses 
did get on to turf again they were one and all utterly 
done. I had never dreamt of such heavy going as 
that in all my steeplechasing philosophy, and hope 
never to experience anything like it again. The 
ordinary ploughed field was nothing compared to it. 

A note concerning the late Major Bringhurst. 
Though essentially regarded as an Essex sportsman, 
his residence being near Chelmsford, where he passed 
away at the age of seventy- three, the Major graduated 
in horse-training and racing at Brighton. After 
retiring from the 90th Foot, with whom he had served 
in South Africa and India, he settled down in Sussex, 
and devoted his attention to thoroughbreds. Then 
later he migrated to us in Essex, where he speedily 
became a general favourite. After a while he came 
to be regarded as quite the Nestor of horse-racing 



108 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

in East Anglia, and was in great demand as steward 
at Essex meetings, as also at others outside the 
county. He stuck to the saddle as a fox-hunter till 
late in life. There were other things besides horse- 
racing and training at which the Major was an expert. 
He was particularly clever as a turner and carver, 
and in many Essex houses are treasured up as memen- 
toes little specimens of his handiwork. 

At Harlow, on April 12, 1882, I could only manage 
second honours in the Open Steeplechase, but did 
better at the Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry, on May 13, 
in the last races I was destined to ride that year 
owing to the ballooning accident at Maldon. Twelfth 
Cake carried me to victory in the Hunt Cup, in which 
Mr. Rod well's Cronstadt, ridden by Mr. Bruen, was 
second, whilst on the same mount I was second in 
another event — the open race. Lyndon, however, 
was disqualified, so I secured this race also. 

Though fully recovered, save for a limp, from the 
injuries sustained in the ballooning mishap in June 
1882, recorded elsewhere, I was not sorry of an 
opportunity of a complete change of air, scenery, 
and sport, which a shooting and yachting expedition 
to the Mediterranean offered. Early in November 
I started for Corfu, to join Joe Bagot of the 60th, my 
frequent sniping companion in India days, and Lord 
Churston. They had gone out to the scene of action 
by P. and 0., having made arrangements to meet 
their yacht on the other side of the Bay. Our prime 
object was the shooting of woodcock and pig in 
Albania. The cock shooting in this part of the world 
is some of the best in Europe, but we knew before- 
hand that it varied very much from year to year. 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 109 

One season you may bag sixty, seventy, or even a 
hundred couple of cock a day ; while the next, per- 
haps not more than fifteen couple may be killed. 
The latter bag, however, is, or was a dozen years ago, 
decidedly, I should say, below the average. 

Bagot, who is great in the practical art of equipment 
and outfit for sportsmen, recommends for sport in 
Albania and adjacent lands one or two guns and a 
good service revolver. A rifle he is inclined to regard 
as a superfluous weapon, because for pig or deer an 
ordinary smooth-bore No. 12 is usually more effective 
than the best Express bullet manufactured. As a 
proof of this he gives an instance of where he once 
put two bullets from an Express rifle through a boar 
at about twenty yards' distance, the only apparent 
result being an acceleration of the brute's pace. A 
little later the boar fell to a shot from a 12-bore 
handled by a member of the party, and when ex- 
amined, it turned out that both Express bullets had 
passed clean through without touching any vital 
part. The ammunition difficulty, as I once found 
when on a shooting expedition in Spain, is not 
very easy of solution. Cartridges and powder 
should be sent out in the yacht, as there are great 
difficulties experienced in getting them through the 
Continent. Three or four thousand cartridges, with a 
supply of bullets, slugs, etc., should suffice for a shoot 
of a few weeks' duration. Stout clothes are needed, 
as the cover in Albania is of a very thorny character. 
Some strongly advocate taking out English dogs, 
either cockers or spaniels, but it is a moot point 
whether it is not better to leave the native beaters 
to provide them, A beater is paid from £12 to £14 



110 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

a month, and for this he is expected to supply dogs 
both for cock and pig shooting. A small medicine 
chest may be useful, and a supply of quinine. 

Our yacht, the Eva, which Bagot found for the 
trip, was 130 tons, with a crew of eight, besides two 
stewards and a cook. Bagot was rather afraid that 
my game leg might seriously hamper my move- 
ments over the rough ground we were about to 
shoot, but when I reached Corfu, where I had agreed 
to meet him, I scouted such an idea. Our first beats 
were at Butrinto and Vrarna, and resulted in moderate 
bags of cock, widgeon, and snipe, with an odd quail 
or two. It was very pretty mixed shooting, with 
plenty of diversity and incident. 

One incident in which Churston played a promi- 
nent part afforded us much amusement, though it 
might have had a serious ending. A shot from the 
top of a green ivy-covered bush attracted the atten- 
tion of Bagot. He repaired to the spot to find 
Churston perched in the bush, and surrounded by 
a pack of savage Albanian dogs. They were speedily 
driven off, and then Churston told how he had been 
suddenly, and for no earthly reason, attacked by 
one dog, which he managed to beat off. It retired 
only to bring up a strong reinforcement. Churston 
was then pressed so hard that he was compelled to 
back to the nearest tree, keeping the furious brutes 
off as well as he could with the muzzle of his gun. 
When he reached the tree he returned the onslaught 
with interest, and then made a dash up into the 
lowest branch, one dog actually taking a piece out 
of his coat as he whisked out of reach. These 
Albanian dogs ar^ of a most vicious breed, but their 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 111 

masters set great store by them, and have no scruple 
about knifing any stranger who kills one. 

Waterfowl shooting we found an interesting form 
of sport at Butrinto, our first bag consisting of twenty- 
two ducks, besides teal and divers, with a few snipe. 
At Pagania we had our first boar drive. Nine or 
ten Albanians, all armed to the teeth as though they 
were going into battle, were employed as beaters, and 
these men brought a dog or so apiece. The head 
beater decided on the place of action, and stationed 
us at various points. Then, all being ready, at a given 
signal the drive commenced, and wild shouts, varied 
by the occasional discharge of a pistol, marked the 
progress of the beaters. Suddenly the dogs would 
give tongue, the beaters raise a greater uproar than 
ever, and one or perhaps several black objects dart 
through the underwood at such a rate as to be scarcely 
distinguishable. A boar will carry a good deal of lead, 
and two or three shots would be sometimes needed 
to bring one to book. It is a stirring sight to see 
the wounded animal dart out of its retreat with great 
flakes of foam flying from its tusks, and its eyes 
gleaming like fire-balls. Unless speedily found by 
the gunners, a wounded one will attract a crowd of 
hungry vultures and jackals. A few days after our 
first hunt, the head beater discovered a couple of 
tusks, which were about all that remained of a pig 
we had hit several times, but had not successfully 
followed up. 

Nor was the sport confined to the game already 
mentioned. Besides boar, cock, snipe, and waterfowl, 
one of the party went eagle-shooting with success. 
Near Dragomastre there was some very pretty shoot- 



112 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

ing at pigeons. At a cave we waited for the birds 
to come in after feeding. In point of numbers our 
sport was very far behind that once enjoyed by Lord 
Londesborough on the Nile, when he killed hundreds 
of birds with his ordinary 12-bore in a single day ; 
but none the less it was excellent fun bringing down 
these wild blue rock, which were as quick as lightning. 
The country, by the way, in this district was, and very 
likely is now, rather barbarous, the populace being 
of a distinctly cut-throat disposition, and by no 
means above a little brigandage on occasions. It 
is advisable to go about well armed, and if possible 
in a party. 

The first chases in which I engaged after returning 
from this shooting expedition in the East, were at 
Chelmsford on April 5, 1883. I won the Steeplechase 
Plate that day, beating Chance — P. Tippler up — my 
mount being Twelfth Cake, whom shortly before 
the race I had made a present of to my brother. I 
also was victorious in the Military Steeplechase on 
Pictus, a horse belonging to Percy Coke of the 15th. 
Bohemia, ridden by the owner, George Hayhurst, 
was second ; and Mr. Chaston's Wild Irishman^ 
ridden by Mr. Beever, third in this race. 

As a rule when your horse makes a mistake in 
steeplechasing it is all over so far as that particular 
race is concerned, unless your opponents also blunder. 
This fact has been borne in upon me again and again 
in the course of nearly forty years' experience 
of racing. But exceptions there are now and then 
that prove the rule. This race at Chelmsford was one 
of these, for Pictus came down as we were jumping 
in and out of the course. I was just picking myself 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 113 

up when another horse jumped right into my saddle, 
and struck me clear of my horse, at the same time 
coming down itself. Whereupon my horse trotted 
away down the course. I gave chase, caught him 
up, remounted, and went in pursuit of the other 
horses that had passed us. I came up with them 
in a few hundred yards, and just beating Bohemia, 
who was trained in the same stable as Pictus, won 
the race. That was a field-day, by the bye, for our 
stable, which was in the hands of Jack Jones. Be- 
tween us we managed to win four out of five races, 
not entering in the fifth. I won two, " Billy '* 
Morris a third, and George Hayhurst of the Fusihers 
the fourth. 

The owner of Pictus was so pleased at the result 
of this race, that he presented me with a pair of silver 
candlesticks, which recall not the least pleasant 
memories among my various sporting trophies. 

Percy Coke is a rare driver, and when put on his 
mettle pretty reckless of consequences. I hope he 
will not be offended if I illustrate this by a story 
which certainly does him no discredit. Driving to 
Aldershot station, he found the road, which was 
being repaired, blocked by a pole stretched across it. 
He asked a navvy, who was on guard, to remove the 
impediment to allow of his getting to the station. 
The man flatly refused. Percy therefore, remarking 
that his horse was " good at timber," drove him at 
it. There was an upset, followed by a general set-to, 
as this headlong intrusion was resented by the road- 
menders. The navvy went for Percy : Percy gave 
him a couy de 'pied, as he stooped to pick up a brick- 
bat, which sent him flying head foremost into his 

8 



114 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

own heap of mortar. Another time he was driving 
to the same station after some steeplechases. As 
we whirled round a corner, more on one wheel than 
two, we passed Billy Morris. His face was a treat ; 
" Poor Claude ! " it seemed to say, " he's survived 
the steeplechases only to be killed by Percy Coke's 
mad driving. 

Twelfth Cake continued to flourish after passing 
out of my hands, and won the Aldershot Cup with 
my brother up a week after the Chelmsford Chases. 
My new love was Shepardess, a mare my brother and 
I purchased from Jones. Shepardess began pretty 
well, winning for me Brassey's Cup at Sevenoaks in 
May 1883, when she started 7 to 4 on, and won by 
twenty lengths. My chief opponents were so dead 
beat on this occasion, the going being heavy, that 
both horse and rider appeared to run their heads 
clean into a clover rick just off the course. 

In the summer of this year I rode on the flat 
at the Bibury meeting, Shepardess being matched 
against Morning Star, the property of Fred Beauclerk. 
I walked over, and this was the only win — if it can 
be so called — that the mare scored after Brassey's 
Cup. She was a roarer, and turned out quite a 
failure, never doing anything afterwards. 

" Give a dog a bad name and hang him." The 
downward grade, swift and sure, of the late Marquess 
of Ailesbury, afforded, I think, an excellent object- 
lesson in the truth of this old saw. Ailesbury, as a 
matter of fact, never had a chance of retrieving 
himself. He began to go wrong, and at once every- 
body's voice was raised against him. Yet to start 
with he was an excellent good fellow, and a thorough 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 115 

gentleman. Knowing this full well, I ventured to 
make a stand for him when he was going downhill 
so awfully quick. I worked hard to get him elected 
a member of the Bibury Club, and elected he actually 
was. Unfortunately it came too late. He had sunk 
too deep in the slough of evil companionship, and 
nothing could save him. The public have never 
seen any save the dark side of Ailesbury, and they 
formed their estimate of him on that alone. But 
there was plenty of good in the fellow at one time, 
and I shall always beUeve that the hue and cry was 
responsible for his ultimate utter degradation. It 
is only fair to say that what influence his wife had 
over him when he began going altogether wrong was 
salutary. A few words from her could, and often 
did, stop a volley of oaths. 

No doubt the Jockey Club knew what they were 
doing when they warned Ailesbury off, and had 
more evidence against his past career on the turf 
than was actually divulged. But I must say that he 
was overtly condemned for directions which are, as 
a matter of fact, used again and again by owners to 
jockeys without getting them into trouble. " Cut 
it fine '' is often the injunction given to a perfectly 
straight jockey by an equally straight owner. It has 
been given to me on at least one occasion when I 
have been riding for another man. At Galleywood 
I can recollect being asked by the owner of the horse 
I was riding not to come away till over the last 
fence. I carried the injunction out faithfully, and 
won without taking it too much out of my mount. 
It was rather amusing to see the glowing accounts 
of my horsemanship in the papers, which declared 



116 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

that I just managed to win with fine judgment, 
etc. 

Sporran, by Grouse out of a half-bred mare, proved 
at least a better investment than the jade Shepardess. 
The first race he won me was the Steeplechase Plate 
at Chelmsford in March 1884. I found I could not 
ride the weight myself, so put up a gunner, who won 
the race for me. 

The Champion Lodge Steeplechases were on April 1 
of that year. We had as usual a goodly concourse 
of Essex folk, with more than a sprinkling of people 
from beyond our own neighbourhood. Sir Charles 
Staveley was amongst our guests. His relations with 
Gordon are familiar to many people, and it may be 
worth noticing that one of the very last communi- 
cations through the post ever received by an English- 
man from the General in beleaguered Khartoum, 
came into the hands of Sir Charles on the Champion 
Lodge Course during the annual steeplechases. It 
came in the shape of a postcard, and caused a con- 
siderable sensation, everybody's mind at the time 
being full of Gordon. 

The Stewards included the Duke of Hamilton, 
the Marquess of Queensberry, and Colonel Byrne ; 
Charley Page Wood acted as both starter and clerk 
of the scales ; whilst Holroyd was judge. As usual 
we had glorious weather — our steeplechases have 
always been most fortunate in this respect — and 
some fair sport. There were eight events on the card, 
including a match between Wild Georgie and Rizpah, 
which did not however come off, as the latter went 
lame. The first race was the Point to Point, over 
which there was some brisk speculation, the book- 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 117 

making fraternity being present in force. Sporran, 
with myself up, started a pretty hot favourite — 6 to 
4 on — after his recent victory at Chelmsford. It 
turned out anything but a hollow thing, however, 
as Waggoner, the third favourite, ridden by Mr. 
Fellowes, the brother of the owner, Mrs. Coope, was 
beaten by no more than a neck. The Coopes' stable 
was more fortunate in the Hunt Cup and the Con- 
solation, both of which they secured, the first with 
Pat, steered by Billy Morris, and the second with 
Jack, steered by Mr. Rodwell. 

Lady de Crespigny's Zante started favourite for 
the Ladies' Cup, but I did not succeed in getting 
placed, the event falling to Mrs. Reid's Lady Alice, 
ridden by Mr. Fellowes. Sporran had a walk over 
for the Loyal Suffolk Hussars' Cup, and Mr. Rust's 
Architect won the Farmers' Cup, starting second 
favourite. 

April 3, 1884, Ipswich. — Here I won the Sud- 
bourne Plate Hurdle Race on a recent purchase of 
my brother's, Elmina. Jack Jones was present, and 
there had been some talk as to whether he or I should 
ride the mare. I gave him his choice, acknowledging 
the superiority of his horsemanship by pointing out 
that if he rode she would start 2 to 1 on, and if I rode 
then the odds would probably be 3 to 1 against. 
This reasoning appeared to Jones to be sound, and 
he voted in favour of my having the mount. The 
only dangerous horse came to grief at the first flight 
of hurdles, and after that there was not much doubt, 
in my own mind at any rate, as to the result, though 
there appeared to have been some in others. The 
mare won easily enough. 



118 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Possibly had it not been for a mistake made by 
Grayson in this race, Elmina might have been 
pressed a Httle bit more, though I do not think, bar 
accidents, she could have lost. At the last flight 
Grayson rode at the outside hurdle, and was carried 
over the rope. Personally, I have always made 
a rule on Ipswich racecourse, when there were no 
wings at the hurdles, of riding at about the centre 
hurdle. 

A change of scene next found me on April 1, 1884, 
at the Vale of White Horse Steeplechases, where I 
could not do better than get third place in the open 
chases on Mytton's Maid, who was a bit thick in 
the wind. The following month, however, I won on 
Captain Barkley's Hurdy Gurdy in the Regimental 
Races at Ipswich, and so wound up the spring chasing 
season of 1884 with a measure of success. This race 
was on May 23, and on the following day Simmons 
and myself made an ascent in the " Colonel," and 
after a voyage of four hours and seven minutes came 
down, not without a narrow escape, between St. 
Ives and Huntingdon. Thus I made three eventful 
balloon voyages in three successive years, 1882, 1883, 
and 1884. Perhaps I may boast of having achieved 
a world's record in winning a race and making a 
balloon ascent well within the space of twenty-four 
hours. 

Though attending at Stockbridge in the summer 
of 1884, I did not ride on the flat, but contented 
myself with being a spectator of the sport, and in 
taking part in the Bibury Ballot. The next entry in 
my diary is as follows : — " Wye. Won Selhng Hurdle 
Race on Baron Hill : to London for Balloon Cen- 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 119 

tenary afterwards." This Baron Hill was bred by- 
Sir Richard Bulkeley at Baron Hill. He was an 
own brother of the mare Elmina. Jones and I 
differed a good deal in relation to this horse, I 
believing him to be honest, and Jones being equally 
positive that he was a rogue. I took him as I found 
him, and with me the horse always behaved well 
enough. However, nothing would dissuade Jones, 
who still viewed Baron Hill with disapproval after 
he had been entered in this Wye Selling Race and 
had won it. A short time before Jones had ridden 
him at Chandler's Ford, a course near Winchester 
and just outside Cranberry Park, which has since 
been abolished. I gave him ten sovereigns to put 
on the horse, but saw none of it back, as he got 
badly beaten. After the Wye race Baron Hill passed 
into the hands of Arthur Yates, and, beyond winning 
one small race for him, seems to have done very httle 
good. Curiously enough, a brother officer was riding 
to hounds somewhere in the Midlands on a horse 
lent, I suppose, by a friend. It behaved anything 
save well, and the thought suddenly flashed across 
him, " Why, this must be Baron Hill ! " When he 
looked into the matter, he felt convinced that he had 
stumbled on the truth, and told me so the next time 
we met. He had known the animal in its chasing 
career, and when it belonged to me. 

As mentioned in an earlier chapter, I usually make 
a rule, like many other jockeys, of critically ex- 
amining a course before riding. But on this occa- 
sion at Wye I had not time to do so. I therefore 
followed in the wake of Sensier the first time round, 
when his horse broke down. By that time I had 



120 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

learnt all I need know about the course, and was 
enabled to win my race. 

I repaired to this Wye meeting with Arthur Yates, 
who was running a horse there in the first race 
against mine, and rather fancied him too. The 
trains, we found, ran so unkindly that I deemed it to 
be practically impossible for me to be in time to ride 
Baron Hill myself, and therefore wired to Billy 
Morris, asking him to do so. But there were pro- 
fessional jockeys riding in the race, and had Morris 
complied with my request, he would have lost his 
weight allowance in Irish steeplechases. As a 
matter of fact, though it was a great rush, I did 
arrive on the course at Wye just in the nick of time 
to ride. Jack Jones, hearing of the incident after- 
wards, remarked that I was luckier than he and his 
friends were on one occasion, when, having missed 
the train, they had a special, put three hundred on 
their horse, and got beaten a head. 

At Wye once I recollect being assaulted in rather 
a curious way, though perfectly unconscious of having 
injured or offended anybody. As the crowd rushed 
over the course at the end of a race, a fellow struck my 
horse with considerable force ; I charged right into the 
crowd after him, and in so doing got a tremendous 
cut across the thigh from another man, probably his 
pal. I suppose they were wild at my not having 
won the race in which they may have backed me. 

A first-class rider, and the straightest of jockeys, 
was poor Sensier. On a good horse he had scarcely 
a superior in the steeplechasing world, though on a 
bad one there were one or two rivals, notably Dollery, 
who were generally admitted to be stronger. 



MOSTLY STEEPLECHASING 121 

An item concerning Yates : — Once at a meeting 
at Somerleyton, Sir Savile Crossley's place near 
Lowestoft, I did not miss a single race. I rode eight 
out of eight, winning two and being placed second 
in several others. This record pales, as probably do 
all others, before that of Arthur Yates, who once at 
Kingsbury rode seven races in the day and won 
them all ! 



CHAPTER V 

SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 

TT was not until the year 1882, some time after I 
-^ had finally settled down in my Essex home, 
that I first began to seriously turn my attention to 
ballooning, and resolved to engage in this most fas- 
cinating and exciting pursuit. I had seen, however, 
something of ballooning many years before, during 
the Franco-Prussian War, when, as I have already 
stated, we used to ride after, and shoot at, the bold 
aeronauts who ascended from Paris during the siege. 
Altogether sixty-six of these balloons were sent up 
from Paris, and they held 168 persons. Fifty-two 
fell in France, five in Belgium, four in Holland, two 
in Prussia, whilst two came down into the sea. The 
number which fell into the hands of the Prussians 
was eighteen, some of which were more or less riddled 
by our bullets. Gambetta, it may be recollected, 
ventured to ascend from Paris in one of these balloons, 
and, for what I know, he may have been shot at. 
One balloon, named '* Ville d'Orleans,"' actually 
crossed the water safely, and came down on November 
25, 1870, in Norway. The aeronaut in this case 
was a Monsieur RoUin. He made his descent close 

122 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 123 

to Christiania, after having travelled no less than 
750 leagues — a remarkable voyage, which he ac- 
comphshed in rather less than fifteen hours. The 
remains of a balloon were, a long while after the last 
of these ascents, discovered in Iceland. It was 
supposed that it had come thither from Paris. The 
balloon sent up by the besieged Parisians contained 
upwards of ten and a half milUon letters, etc., some 
of which were duly answered by the aid of carrier 
pigeons. 

Colonel Burnaby had more than once dilated to 
me on the pleasures to be derived from ballooning, 
and this, combined with what I saw during the siege 
of Paris, had much to do with my resolve to become 
an aeronaut., Burnaby, Hke most other aeronauts, 
has been often accused of recklessness and utter dis- 
regard of danger, but it cannot be denied that he 
applied himself to the scientific side of ballooning. 
It is more than thirty-five years since he made a 
notable ascent in the company of an enthusiastic 
fellow-officer in the Guards, from the Crystal Palace. 
Burnaby on that occasion tried a machine which he 
had himself devised with the idea of ascertaining 
the course of the wind above the clouds, when the 
earth was concealed. I cannot say that the machine 
was ever used to my knowledge by such skilled 
aeronauts as Dale and Simmons, but the trial in 
question was described at the time as a decidedly 
satisfactory one. 

So great is the dread entertained by many people 
of exposing themselves to the shghtest danger of 
accident — though the same persons often think 
nothing of leading the most unhealthy fives, of de- 



124 FOKTY YEAES OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

stroying the digestion, and shattering the whole 
nervous system by almost every means in their power 
— that it is easy to understand the abhorrence and 
even contempt with which ballooning used to be 
regarded in some quarters — though now the remark- 
able strides made by the science of aviation are 
beginning to open people's eyes a bit. 

Every person who ventured oflt the solid earth in 
those days had to be prepared to hear of himself 
being described as a madman. In the same way the 
boldest mountaineers lay themselves open to the 
charge of being crazy, and Arctic explorers are 
often placed in the same category. Of old we were 
accustomed to regard the pleasures and perils of 
exploration on land and sea, as well as in the sky, in 
a very different spirit. It is not too much to say, 
that many of the greatest discoveries of modern 
times, which have increased the resources and the 
wealth of mankind, would not have been made, 
except for a dauntless spirit of adventure. Had 
Columbus entertained the exaggerated dread of ex- 
posing himself to unknown danger, which is too 
noticeable a feature of to-day, he would not have 
paved the way for the opening up of continents. It 
can certainly not be said that he undertook the dis- 
covery of the New World from commercial objects 
or for purely scientific purposes. The spirit of 
adventure and of daring and suffering all things 
moved him, as, according to the dehghtful old Greek 
tradition, it moved Ulysses, even in his extreme old 
age, to leave sceptre and isle, and " sail beyand the 
sunset " in search of a newer world. 

It is possible, however, that if some of the least 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 125 

adventurous people could only realize the unspeak- 
able splendour which so swiftly opens out to the 
gaze of the aerial traveller, they would admit that 
ballooning has great and natural attractions. The 
sensations the aeronaut experiences in the ascent, and 
during his voyage through the skies, are pleasurable 
beyond description. The motion of the balloon is 
perfectly smooth and easy, no matter how quickly 
the wind is travelling, which is to be accounted for 
by the fact that the balloon goes with the wind. 
There is not the slightest resistance to the air, and 
consequently no disagreeable motion. On the perfect 
tranquillity that prevails in the heavens I have dwelt 
elsewhere. In the descent a jarring is sometimes 
experienced, and of course both before the balloon 
has got fairly away from the earth, and also after 
it has in coming down been impeded by the grapnel 
or by unwelcome obstacles, sensations may be ex- 
perienced the reverse of agreeable. Indeed, the great 
majority of the accidents occur in the ascent and 
descent. 

So remarkable is this tranquil and easy motion 
through the air, that the aeronaut is scarcely aware 
of the rate at which he is travelling. Mr. Green, 
the well-known balloonist, was once carried away 
at lightning speed by a furious whirlwind, and yet 
knew nothing about it. He was even unaware that 
he was moving at exceptional speed ! Not till he 
approached the earth, and marked there the fury of 
the wind, which threatened to tear the grapnel from 
its hold, did he realize the situation. 

As to the scenery which the aeronaut enjoys, it is 
often beautiful beyond compare. The rising and 



126 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

the setting sun as seen by the balloonist are more 
brilUant and thousand-hued than even the mind of 
Turner conceived. Mr. Glaisher saw both spectacles. 
He witnessed the sun rising on an autumnal morning. 
Ascending slowly above the clouds, the aeronaut saw 
the sun rise, flooding with light the whole extent of 
cloudland beyond, which glistened under its beams 
like a lake of pure gold. " Grouped around the car,'* 
he said, " both above and below, there were clouds 
of alpine character sloping to their bases in glistening 
light, or towering upwards in sheets of shining vapour, 
which added the charm of contrast to the splendid 
tints of sunrise." Then suddenly the clouds spread 
round ocean-like, and continually changing their 
forms, " suddenly gathered themselves into mountain 
heaps and closed all round, hiding the sun in neutral- 
tinted gloom." Quite as dazzling in its splendour 
was a sunset once seen by Tissandier when ballooning 
over France ; but perhaps Mr. Glaisher was most 
fortunate of all aerial voyagers, when he once viewed 
London at night. The air was perfectly clear, and 
the great city, with its milhons of lights, looked a 
very Milky Way of the earth. So free from mist and 
fog was the atmosphere, that he was able to dis- 
tinctly see persons moving along Oxford Street, with 
their very shadows cast upon the pavements. 

General Brine's unsuccessful attempt to reach the 
French coast in 1882, and Burnaby's successful one 
in March of the same year, made me impatient to 
cross the water myself, either the Channel or the 
North Sea. Brine in the company of Simmons made 
an ascent from Canterbury early in 1882, with the 
object of crossing over to the French coast, but 



SOME BALLOONING EXPEKIENCES 127 

owing to a sudden and quite unlooked-for change in 
the wind — a danger which the aeronaut of course 
cannot guard against — drifted out to the North Sea. 
The aeronauts therefore had to take to the water, 
where fortunately they were picked up by the Foam. 

Burnaby cherished the belief that under certain 
conditions the aeronaut might be able to overcome 
a difficulty such as Brine and Simmons experienced 
when the wind suddenly began to change and blow 
them out toward the German Ocean. He said he 
beUeved that when the wind was blowing in one 
direction at a certain height in the atmosphere it 
would very likely be blowing in a directly contrary 
direction at another one. Thus, his idea was, that the 
aeronaut might in many cases, finding the wind 
against him, ascend to a much greater height, and 
try his luck there. Unfortunately this cannot always 
be done with safety, as Messrs. Coxwell and Glaisher 
found out. It would be a rash experiment to make 
when placed as Brine and Simmons were, for suppos- 
ing they had ascended to a great height, and still 
found the wind in the same direction, the delay of a 
few minutes might have cost both of them their lives. 

Early in June 1882 my own arrangements were 
complete for a trip across the water. Simmons, the 
brave and skilful aeronaut, with whom I made 
my later ascents, arrived at Maldon on June 10, 
1882, with his balloon, and next day the process of 
inflation was commenced. My sister Agnes, not to 
be deterred by the experiences of Madame Durouf, 
fully intended to accompany us, but Simmons decided 
that it would be advisable to take as much ballast 
as possible, and our plan had accordingly to be 



128 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

modified in this respect. As tlie morning wore on 
Simmons began to entertain serious doubts as to quite 
a different matter. The wind, though in the right 
direction, blowing towards Calais, was very boisterous, 
and under these circumstances the aeronaut thought 
it his duty to warn me through Mr. Waller, who was 
managing the preparations, against making the 
ascent at all. I could not think, however, of putting 
off the expedition, and resolved, come what might, 
to brave the breeze. So between twelve and one 
o'clock, in the presence of a great concourse of 
people, including Lady de Crespigny and several 
members of my family, we got into the car, and at 
once attempted the ascent. Everything would have 
no doubt gone off right enough had the men who 
were holding down the balloon released her at the 
right moment, just when Simmons gave the order. 
They delayed ; and as a consequence the car was 
dragged across the field, and dashed with great vio- 
lence against a brick wall. 

All this occurred in considerably less time than 
it takes to write it. Directly I perceived that a 
dangerous collision was inevitable, unless it could be 
averted by a great effort of strength at the critical 
moment, I took up as firm a position as possible, and 
sitting on the side of the car endeavoured with my 
left leg to push off from the wall. The task was 
probably beyond human strength, and, as it was, my 
leg was crushed between the car and the balloon. 
Curiously enough, I was not fully conscious of the 
injury I had sustained till I felt the bones grating, 
and glancing down, saw that my foot was at right 
angles to its natural position. A friend was standing 



SOME BALLOONINa EXPERIENCES 129 

close by amongst the spectators, and I remarked to 
him, " My leg's broken." He leant over the side of 
the balloon, and took hold of the right leg. I said, 
" No, not the right, the left one." There now seemed 
to be every prospect of the balloon getting away, 
and I did not like the idea of a trip across the 
Channel with a broken leg. To say nothing of the 
discomfort of a journey under such circumstances, 
there would probably be danger in the descent, which 
often entails a good deal of jarring. I therefore 
managed to raise myself by means of the ropes on 
to the side of the car, and was then assisted out 
backwards. An examination showed that my leg 
was broken in two places just above the ankle, and 
that the fracture was of the compound order. 

Unfortunately I was not the only person who was 
injured by the mishap. There were several men 
chnging to the car at the time it dragged across the 
field, and one man was crushed as by the wheels of 
Juggernaut against the wall. Two of his ribs were 
broken, and he was in a very bad way until attended 
to by Dr. Gutteridge, who also treated me very 
skilfully. One or two other persons were slightly 
damaged, nor did Simmons himself escape scot-free. 
His arm was hurt, and, to use his own words, his 
side " seemed to be caved in." Apparently not 
recognizing exactly what had happened to me in the 
confusion and excitement which took place when the 
car struck against the wall, Simmons called out, 
" Tell Sir Claude to get in." Learning what had 
happened, he none the less resolved, and in my opinion 
rightly so, to make the ascent alone. My sudden 
removal from the car had left him in a somewhat 

9 



130 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

awkward position. But he managed to replace my 
weight with some ballast at hand, and then in a lull 
effected a capital ascent. I was lying down in the 
field with my head propped up, and with great 
interest, and greater disappointment at my own 
inabihty to take part in the voyage, saw him dart 
up into the sky. 

From the short account which Simmons supphed 
of his trans-Channel trip, it seems that his chief 
difficulty was to keep sufficiently high to clear all im- 
pediments, and yet be able to see where he was going. 
The clouds were exceedingly low, so that it was not 
at all easy to do this. He heard the sound of the 
breakers soon after the start, — the balloon travelled 
at a tremendous pace, — and this satisfied him that 
the wind was a true one from the earth's surface to 
a great altitude. Upon dipping below the clouds 
he ventured down to have a look at the sea. The 
sound of the breakers had then ceased, but presently 
it was repeated. He could just dimly perceive a 
sandy coast-line in front, and concluded that he 
must be right for France. Presently the balloon 
dipped again below the clouds, and the aeronaut found 
that he was over land. He guessed it to be Kent, 
and in a few minutes more was able to distinguish 
Deal, which lay a little to the east. It was next to 
impossible to keep low enough to be under the clouds, 
so as to see the coast-line around, and at the same 
time be high enough to be sure of getting a good sweep 
over it. 

At 1.45 Simmons was right over the Calais-Douvres 
steamer, and could see the passengers waving ex- 
citedly to him, as people always will to an aeronaut. 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 131 

Twelve minutes after passing over the English chalk 
clifis he was over the French coast. He was then 
so near Calais as to be able to distinguish all its streets 
and public bulidings. The water safely crossed, he 
took off his cork jacket — without which no balloonist 
who knows his business makes an ascent near the 
sea — and meditated a trip inland. But suddenly 
recollecting that my accident and removal from the 
balloon had left him with very scanty pecuniary 
resources, he decided to come to anchor as soon as 
possible, He looked out for a landing place, but for 
some time could see no hedge or ditch on his track 
suitable for the purpose. Nothing was passed save 
fields divided by different crops of corn. After 
Simmons had gone as he supposed about a hundred 
miles into France a large city was reached. The 
inhabitants rushed out into the principal square to 
witness the strange sight. Floating over them at a 
height of about six hundred feet, he asked in French, 
" What's the name of this place ? " and the reply 
came " Arras." A few miles outside the city he 
descended, and after dragging a long distance over 
some level ground, and damaging the crops, he 
crippled the balloon, and managed to get out of the 
car in safety. He had traversed one hundred and 
seventy miles in slightly over an hour and a half. 

The incidents of this ascent supplied the news- 
papers with some excellent " copy " at a not over- 
exciting period, and one or two of them — rather 
ungratefully, it has occurred to mq ! — censured us 
severely for what they were pleased to regard as our 
foolhardiness. The fact is, there was a kind of anti- 
balloon scare just about this time. To General 



132 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Brine's misadventure allusion has been made. Then 
some years previously two French aeronauts had 
perished in the higher atmospheric regions whilst 
directing the balloon " Zenith." But far fresher 
in the mind of the public than any other aeronautic 
disaster was the fatal ascent of Mr. Walter Powell 
at Bath. With regard to this particular disaster, it 
has always seemed to me that Mr. Powell and his 
two colleagues, Major Templar — who was afterwards 
in charge of the ballooning in the war in Egypt — 
and Mr. Gardner, made mistakes of a kind which the 
least experienced aeronaut ought to avoid. It was 
said that they intended crossing the water. If so 
it was little short of madness to start as they did 
late in the afternoon, light, as every one can 
understand, being a sine qua non to the safety of the 
balloonist. Then to deliberately endeavour to leave 
the car as it dragged along the ground, as was done 
in this case, was to invite a catastrophe. It appears 
that the aeronauts, finding themselves going out 
to sea, resolved to leave the car, if needs be, whilst 
the balloon was still in motion. 

The balloon was accordingly brought to earth 
close to Bridport. There was nothing to make the 
grapnel fast to, so the balloon dragged or skimmed 
along the ground. To leave the balloon whilst it was 
so moving was something like getting out of a train 
going at a good pace. Mr. Gardner in leaping out 
fractured his leg, but Major Templar with great 
good fortune managed to reach the ground without 
injuring himself. The balloon, reheved of the weight 
of the two men, shot up again, and Mr. Powell had 
not time to join his companions. It passed over the 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 133 

cliffs and floated away to sea. Mr. Powell when last 
seen by his companions was clinging on outside the 
car. In a minute or two he disappeared altogether 
from view, and never more was seen by mortal eye. 
His precise fate must therefore remain for all time 
uncertain. What the party clearly ought to have 
done when they found themselves going over the 
cliffs was to come down in the sea, and then 
with their cork jackets on swim to shore. 

The injury I sustained in the Maldon ascent left 
me hors de combat for many a weary week. From 
Saturday, June 10, to Saturday, July 29, my diary is 
a dismal blank. On the latter day I went downstairs, 
and drove to Witham. Two days afterwards I went 
up to town, visited the theatre, and luxuriated in a 
Turkish bath. But swift retribution followed this 
too swift return to the joys of life. My bones had 
not perfectly mended. In a few days I was down 
again, and invalided till almost the middle of Septem- 
ber. The various accidents I have sustained chasing 
and hunting, all combined perhaps, punished me 
less severely than this balloon disaster. 

With that happy knack, rare amongst princes as 
amongst their subjects, of always doing and saying 
the right thing at the right time, the late King 
Edward, then Prince of Wales, sent me a kind little 
message through my brother after this ballooning 
disaster. " Tell your brother,'' he said, " that I am 
very sorry to hear of his mishap ; but also say that 
I cannot approve altogether of his trying to make 
the ascent under the circumstances." 

Before concluding this account of the first ascent 
from Maldon, I may note that the rate at which 



134 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Simmons crossed to France was, with one exception, 
the fastest on aeronautic record. That exception was 
Simmons's trip from Peekskill to Bedford in New 
York county, a distance of twenty-five miles, which 
was accompHshed at a perfectly phenomenal rate. 

By the time I had fully recovered from the injury 
sustained in this first Maldon ascent, the time of year 
was too far advanced to make, with any great chance 
of success, another attempt to cross the Channel. 
But in the following year, and a little later on in the 
season, I had again made arrangements for the trip. 
Indeed long before my leg was mended, my reso- 
lution to make another attempt had been come to. 
When Mr. Wymper, roaming about by himself one 
afternoon on the then unknown heights of the 
Matterhorn, slipped, and falling several hundred 
feet, met with an accident that all but cost him his 
life, he yet resolved to be the first to tread on the 
summit of the great mountain. Nothing could move 
him from his purpose ; nothing could move me from 
mine. The Channel of course had already been 
crossed in a balloon a fair number of times, whereas 
Mr. Wymper was aiming at a record in mountain- 
eering. But as it happened, we too were to estabhsh 
a record in ballooning. 

On Monday, July 30, 1883, Simmons, whom I 
again chose for the trip, came to Maldon with his 
balloon, and at once set about repairing some damages 
which it had sustained at Brighton a few weeks 
previously. Composed principally of indiarubber 
and bird-lime — a queer combination this must seem 
to the non-aeronautic mind — it was one of the 
strongest balloons ever constructed. It was capable 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 135 

of holding 37,000 cubic feet of gas, — exactly the 
same quantity, by the way, as held by the balloon 
in which Burnaby crossed the Channel, — and when 
inflated it was seventy-five feet in height and forty- 
two in diameter. Directly I set eyes on it I felt 
assured of success, and only longed for an early 
start. 

But that is exactly what we did not get. There 
was much delay in inflating the balloon, though the 
operation commenced so early as five o'clock in the 
morning. After breakfast I arrived on the scene 
of action, which was a paddock adjoining the Maldon 
Gas Works, and roamed about, growing after a 
while very impatient as the hours of daylight wore 
on apace. In the course of the morning we sent up 
six pilot balloons, of about sixteen feet in diameter, 
and the result was not at all encouraging. The wind 
was veering about, now north-west and now south- 
west, in a very fickle manner, and the fifth balloon 
went in a course which would take it straight up 
the North Sea ! Simmons looked grave, as well he 
might. He was an intrepid aeronaut and had made 
upwards of four hundred and fifty ascents in his time, 
out of which more than half were sohtary ones. He 
had had several very narrow escapes, and had des- 
cended into the sea no less than nine times — once 
into the German Ocean, once into the English 
Channel, and once into Lake Michigan. At the same 
time he had a laudable desire to live a little longer 
and make a few more successful ascents. The 
threatening-looking course taken by our fifth pilot 
balloon seemed to indicate that there would be every 
probability of his desire in this respect being un- 



136 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

accomplished, if he went up that morning into the 
heavens with me. He expressed his grave doubts 
as to the wisdom of our ascending that day, but was 
too courageous a man to actually decline to do so. 

There remained, however, the sixth pilot balloon 
to try, and presently it was despatched on its journey. 
It took a more reassuring course than the fifth, and 
I adjudged that if our own behaved in the same 
manner, there was good ground for believing that 
we should reach Holland or Germany before dark. 
Simmons, however, did not look on things in such 
a hopeful spirit. He was in a dubious, head-shaking 
kind of humour, and was quite prepared for the 
worst. " Simmons, will you go now ? " I asked 
him when the sixth pilot had floated away out of 
sight, and he replied in the afiirmative. After that 
he never hesitated. At half-past eleven the inflation 
of the balloon was finished. The car was affixed, 
and then made captive to a tree in a hedge close to 
the gas works. Five hundred pounds of ballast in 
seven bags were stowed away in the car, and I made 
a small and useful addition in the shape of some 
sandwiches and cold tea. We had already tried on 
our life-belts for use in case we should fall into the 
North Sea, and nothing remained but to get in, and 
get off as quickly as possible. We ought properly 
to have started several hours earher, as our safety 
must depend to a very large extent on the amount 
of daylight at our disposal. 

At half-past twelve Simmons and I at last got into 
the car — the identical one out of which I lowered 
myself with my broken leg the year before — and the 
order was given to the score or so of men who were 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 137 

holding to let go. The order this time was promptly- 
obeyed, and we went up in a lull between the gusts 
of wind. Greatly excited, and filled with admiration 
at the majestic manner in which we took flight, the 
great crowd of spectators, who had been waiting 
patiently for several hours, burst into loud cheers. 
The demonstration was kept up for some little while, 
and we acknowledged it by waving our hats. The 
undercurrents of wind were anything but strong, 
and as a result our progress to commence with was 
exceptionally slow. We were told that we were 
visible for over an hour after the start. Of a very 
different character was Simmons's ascent in the 
previous year ; in that case the balloon had com- 
pletely disappeared from sight in the matter of a few 
minutes, the rate of progress, as already pointed out, 
being from the outset quite lightning-like. 

Fhtting away over Osea Island and Asheldham 
Gorse, we soon found ourselves " at sea," though it 
was some time before we lost sight of the Essex coast. 
A beautiful " Kathorama " forthwith disclosed itself. 
The bottom of the sea could be clearly seen in every 
direction, each channel and shoal standing out in 
the clearest relief, though 9000 feet below us. The 
lightship east of the Blackwater looked the size of 
a flea, but, like every other object visible, it stood 
out most clear-cut. A man-of-war at Harwich was 
a bit bigger than a pea, and six steamers beneath 
us appeared to be on the point of a wholesale col- 
Hsion. Through the unspeakable stillness the bell 
on a buoy of! the Blackwater was to be heard con- 
tinuously ringing. A man perhaps never really 
knows what the most magnificent view is till carried 



138 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

by a balloon into a perfectly clear atmosphere. How- 
ever high we climb amongst the loftiest mountains, 
there are always peaks in one direction or another to 
obstruct the view. Nothing in a clear atmosphere 
impedes the view which opens out to the aeronaut a 
few minutes after his ascent. 

But we had other things to attend to besides the 
glorious scenery. We had to devote our minds to 
the question of whether we were to reach terra firma 
before night, or be carried away and drowned in the 
North Sea. We flung out scraps of paper, and 
noticed that they drifted a bit northerly. So long 
as the course pursued remained a southerly or easterly 
one we were fairly sure of reaching the Continent. 
By two o'clock we had touched an altitude of 10,000 
feet, and now for the first time found ourselves rush- 
ing into a dense mist to the south-east. An hour 
later we were fairly enshrouded in it, and could see 
nothing but each other and the balloon. 

We enjoyed some effects as beautiful as the aurora 
borealis. A perfect picture of the balloon presented 
itself on the clouds. Every rope was faithfully repro- 
duced, and our own forms were actually represented. 
We opened our mouths to shout at our vis-d-vis 
tearing along within a few yards of us, and they 
opened their mouths as though to shout back at us. 
The grappling cable which Simmons had let out was 
distinctly reproduced in reflection or shadow running 
to the phantom car that kept us company. At first 
when Simmons drew my attention to this extra- 
ordinary effect I could see nothing, but coming over 
to his side perceived it perfectly. Other curious 
effects were noticeable. For instance, a blue serge 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 139 

suit Simmons wore looked quite green for a while. 
The atmosphere above presently turned into a deep 
cerulean blue, and the gas up through the balloon 
could be clearly seen. The great dome itself, with 
its gores and diamonds, had a substantial appearance 
rather reassuring in a region of phantom effects. 
Meanwhile the silence continued to be, as was the 
case before we came into this dense mist, almost 
oppressive. We could well hear the beating of our 
own hearts. 

These strange and beautiful reflections or images 
have been noticed occasionally by several other 
balloonists. It is not unlikely indeed that they are 
in various forms quite common. Monsieur Flam- 
marion, when careering through the mystic realms of 
cloudland, was once startled by the sudden appear- 
ance of a rival balloon and rival aeronauts, at, as it 
seemed, less than a hundred feet away. The forms 
of the travellers in the rival balloon Flammarion and 
his companion speedily recognised as their own. 
The minutest details came out in this reflection, the 
thinnest ropes, and even the cords and instruments 
suspended thereto. Godard flourished the national 
flag, and the shadow of a flag was instantly moved 
by the spectral hand in the air. All around too they 
noticed curious concentric circles of various hues. 

After two hours of silence and mist a faint sound 
smote on our ears. Could it be the surf on the coast 
of Holland or Germany ? we asked ourselves. 
Slowly descending, we emerged just before five o'clock 
on the under side of the clouds, and at once caught 
sight of what we conceived and hoped to be the 
coast-line to the south-east. But a few minutes 



140 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

later this line turned out to be nothing more than 
one of the many shoals we had seen in the course of 
the day. Still the shoal was encouraging to this 
extent — it showed that we were no longer in mid- 
ocean. The next objects which engaged our atten- 
tion were less deceptive. Several steamers and sailing 
vessels were within sight, the latter tacking and be- 
having generally as though they expected that their 
aid would be shortly required. If that were the case 
they were speedily undeceived. We left them far 
behind, and fell to discussing the very serious question 
— indeed it was almost one of life and death — as to 
whether our change in altitude had had the very 
undesirable effect of taking us out of our course east 
or south-east to one more or less due north. A 
streak appeared to the east, and though it remained 
indistinct for a considerable while, I had a fancy it 
was land. Presently, however, it began to grow 
dimmer and dimmer, and eventually turned out to 
be a cloud. There are mirages of the air as of the 
desert, as we discovered several times during our 
perilous journey through the clouds. 

At ten minutes past six a rather startling thing 
occurred. The sun peeped out of the bank of clouds 
which encircled it, and under the influence of its rays, 
the balloon instantly took a wild leap heavenwards, 
carrying us in a single bound from 8,000 to 17,000 
feet. In our mad career upwards we passed through 
what looked like a great field of glaciers and snow- 
covered mountains. The glories of Alp and Hima- 
laya pale and sink to puny proportions beside the 
magnificence of that mountain-land of space. It 
was difficult to realize that these vast hills were built 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 141 

of mere cloud, so solid and immovable did they 
appear. The scene was so enchanting that we almost 
forgot the intense cold — the valve-line was frozen — 
and the danger we might incur by remaining at so 
great an altitude. The opening of the valve by 
Simmons, who was not inclined to risk his life for 
these " unsubstantial pageants " of the air, took us 
down towards base earth as quickly as we had shot 
up a few minutes before. The roar of the surf greeted 
our ears, and before our delighted vision spread a part 
of Walcheren Island (a spot patriotic EngUshmen 
cannot as a rule regard with pleasure), and of the 
mainland of Holland, which shut us in on the north. 
We had thus securely crossed the North Sea, an 
aeronautic feat never before accomplished. Sim- 
mons was so satisfied that we were safe that he 
took out his sketch-book, and made a drawing of 
Walcheren and the town of Flushing which lay 
immediately beneath us. 

Oftentimes the bringing of a balloon to anchor is 
a very troublesome and risky affair. As it was, we 
narrowly escaped striking the top of a cottage. The 
throwing out of some ballast just saved us from this 
disaster, which would not improbably have cost both 
of us our lives. After this incident all went well. 
We got our grapnel out, and having torn up an old 
fence or so, hitched on securely in a dyke. The car 
bumped about a little, and turned clean over once 
or twice, but this was a trifle ; for we managed to 
hang on to the guy-ropes till it righted itself. 

A large crowd of people had meanwhile chased us 
from field to field. They came up and helped us to 
pack the balloon in the car, and afterwards escorted 



142 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

us back to Flushing with many signs of enthusiasm 
and approval. The only jarring note came from the 
owner of a fence we had considerably damaged. He 
mentioned large sums of money by way of compen- 
sation, but ultimately took a couple of sovereigns. 
Arrived in Flushing, we had just time to get dinner 
at the Wellington Hotel. Four hours after reaching 
terra firma we were on, instead of over, the water ; 
and the following afternoon I was standing in my 
own hall at Champion Lodge. From an aeronautic 
point of view, complete success had crowned what 
looked at the outset a very risky enterprise. The 
Balloon Society's council met on Thursday, the day 
after the news of our success was wired to England, 
and under the presidency of Mr. C. Green Spencer 
resolved, " That the Society's gold medal be pre- 
sented to Sir Claude de Crespigny, one of the life 
members of the Society, for the indomitable courage 
displayed in his voyage across the Channel yesterday ; 
also that a public vote of thanks be accorded to him 
and Mr. Simmons at the meeting to be held to- 
morrow." 

Burnaby's voyage across the Channel, differed a 
good deal from that of Simmons in 1882, as also from 
that of Simmons and myself across the North Sea 
in the following year. As I was meditating the trip 
myself, I was naturally very interested to hear all 
about it from his own lips. It seems that he first 
definitely made up his mind to cross the Channel 
when he heard of the failure of Brine and Simmons. 
Burnaby had little patience with people who decried 
every one as a lunatic, or a balloonatic, as he put it 
himself, who took any part in this pursuit. His view 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 143 

was that a man was no more a fool to risk his life in 
a balloon than to take part in steeplechasing or any 
other sport where a certain amount of hazard must 
be unavoidable. 

Shortly after the failure of Brine and Simmons, 
he put himself into communication with the owner 
of a balloon, in which Mr. Powell, M.P., had once 
made an ascent. The balloon, he was told, would 
hold 36,000 feet of gas, and was in excellent condition. 
Its owner expressed a desire to go with Burnaby. 
But the latter declined this privilege, and decided 
to go alone ; for one thing Burnaby was seventeen 
stone, and one such a heavy-weight passenger as this 
is quite enough for the lifting-power of most balloons, 
unless the journey is to be of the shortest. Burnaby 
also declined to take a reporter for one of the London 
newspapers with him. The start was arranged for 
March 21, 1882, from Dover, and when the morning 
arrived the wind was found to be in the right quarter. 
The only hitch that occurred was in the work of filling 
the balloon. I have experienced difficulties in 
this matter in my own expeditions, as I shall show 
presently, and Burnaby found to his disgust that 
several hours had to be wasted. He had hoped to be 
off by eight o'clock, but had scarcely started two 
hours later. 

As he went up the owner pointed to one of the 
cords, and suggested that if the balloon burst in the 
air, Burnaby might do worse than pull it ; he had 
an idea that the burst balloon might then come down 
in the form of a parachute. This was a nice kind 
of thmg to set a man thinking about at the moment 
of his departure from the soHd earth — and a pleasant 



144 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

send-of! ! Burnaby, however, was not a nervous 
man. As he sprang upwards, he appeared to be in 
considerable risk of striking a factory shaft which 
was in rather dangerous proximity to the spot selected 
for the ascent ; but the collision was avoided by 
flinging out some ballast, and thus increasing the 
rising power of the balloon. He then rose rapidly 
to a height of between two and three thousand feet, 
and enjoyed a fine view of earth and sea. Though 
there had been frost overnight, the day was warm 
and pleasant. Being a stout man, Burnaby indeed 
felt the rays of the sun quite oppressive, and shielded 
the back of his neck with his handkerchief. 

The balloon's motion was delightful, and the 
occupant congratulated himself that he was not 
experiencing the horrible qualms of sea-sickness on 
board one of the passenger vessels plying far below. 
The first striking incident in his voyage was a sudden 
and very rapid descent of the balloon. Throwing 
pieces of paper out, Burnaby observed that they 
fluttered in the air above. He therefore, to save 
himself from coming down into the water, began to 
throw ballast out. It was not until a considerable 
quantity of sand had been scattered that his baro- 
meter showed that the balloon was at length taking 
an upward turn. It did so not a minute too soon, 
for when his downward career was at length stopped, 
the balloon was within five hundred feet of the sea. 
This sudden descent was owing to the fact that the 
balloon had found its way into a region of cold air, 
which had compressed the gas. 

Next Burnaby found his balloon had come to a 
dead stand-still ! He threw bits of paper out of 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 145 

the car, and they one and all fell straight down into 
the Channel. He was thus, it was perfectly clear, 
becalmed in the air. Some fishing-boats were to be 
seen at no great distance ofif, and their crews made 
signs which Burnaby interpreted as friendly indi- 
cations of a desire to take him on board, if he would 
come down into the water. But he had started 
with the set purpose of crossing the Channel, and of 
not alighting till he had done so. He therefore 
hardened his heart against the friendly advances of 
the fishermen, and stuck resolutely to his stationary 
balloon. For an hour he remained in this very 
aggravating position, but at length descended again 
within less than a quarter of a mile from the water, 
and then again reascended a little. Things, how- 
ever, were no better at this lower altitude ; the 
balloon continued becalmed. What was to be done ? 
In order the better to consider this question, and to 
pass away time that was beginning to hang heavily 
on his hands, " the mad Englishman " took a cigar 
out of his case, and calmly lit up, regardless of the fact 
that there was a continuous escape of inflammable 
gas just above his head. He might just as safely 
have smoked in a powder magazine. Burnaby ad- 
mitted the riskiness of the proceeding in describing 
it afterwards, and chuckled when he pictured what 
the discomfort of the owner of the balloon would have 
been, could he have seen what was taking place ! 

No change whatever in Burnaby 's position taking 
place, and the balloon not catching fire, as might 
have been expected, the aeronaut resolved to ascend 
to a much greater altitude. He flung out a bag of 
ballast, which fell with a loud thud into the water. 

10 



146 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

Up shot the balloon to a height of 3,000 feet, and then 
again remained stationary. Out went another bag, 
and up went the balloon again, this time to an alti- 
tude of about a mile and a half ; but still the hateful 
calm. More ballast followed, and the balloon con- 
tinued to ascend into the higher regions of the air. 
Very little ballast was left when Burnaby found 
himself at a height of about two miles. But at 
length in the midst of cloudland the balloon began 
to move, and, to Burnaby's great satisfaction, in the 
direction of France ; whilst presently, getting clear 
of the clouds, he was able to see most distinctly the 
town and harbour of Dieppe. 

Full of spirits and fun over his successful voyage, 
the aeronaut, having descended to within a few 
hundred feet of the earth, over which he was now 
speeding, dropped some loose sand on a labourer 
working in a field below. The man started, looked 
all round to see where this had come from, and at 
length, perceiving the balloon, fell flat on his back. 
Others now saw the balloon, and cried out to its occu- 
pant to come down at once. This is often easier to 
say than to do in ballooning ; but after bumping the 
ground once with considerable violence and then re- 
ascending, Burnaby pulled the valve-line, and then, 
as he rushed down with great rapidity, threw out the 
remainder of his ballast in order to lessen the pace 
and force of the collision with the ground. He came 
to anchor in a ploughed jSeld. 

The natives were very kind and obliging, as 
Simmons found them when he ascended from French 
soil later on in the year, and vastly excited over 
the advent of the balloon in their midst. One old 



SOME BALLOONING EXPEEIENCES 147 

woman was especially demonstrative, and Burnaby 
placed on record her words. " Thank heavens, I 
too have seen it," cried she. " It passed over my 
house like the dome of a cathedral ; and all my hens 
are still in convulsions of fright at its appearance." 

The two ascents from Maldon, namely, in June 
1882, and August 1883, may, I suppose, be re- 
garded as the most sensational in my aeronautic 
career. It is a rather remarkable fact that almost 
within rifle-shot of my Essex house there have 
been two sensational ascents and two sensational 
descents. The former have been described; and as 
regards the latter, there was first that of Captain 
Alfred Paget, R.N., when the grapnel struck an un- 
fortunate lad who was in its path and caused fracture 
of the skull ; and secondly, the disastrous descent 
in a field very close to Champion Lodge when Sim- 
mons lost his life. Captain Paget's untoward descent 
near Maldon I was not informed of in time to go out 
and meet him and his companion and offer them the 
hospitality which one balloonist would naturally 
desire to extend to another. Simmons's death was a 
source of great regret to me. I had formed the very 
highest opinion of his pluck, resourcefulness, and 
experience. 

Most tragic was Simmons's end. It occurred on 
August 27, 1888, at Ulting, near Champion Lodge. 
He and two other aeronauts made an ascent from 
the Irish Exhibition at Olympia, hoping to cross over 
to the Continent. Everything appears to have gone 
well till they tried to descend at Ulting. The grapnel 
caught in an elm tree, and Simmons seems to have 
made a premature attempt to reach the ground. The 



148 FORTY YEAKS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

balloon came down with a bump, shot up again, and 
struck the tree. It burst with what was described 
as a terrific report, the car was dashed into fragments, 
and Simmons came by his end. So the dauntless 
aeronaut died in harness. 

I recollect Simmons telling me that the only time 
he was ever in a balloon when the grapnel smashed, 
was in 1884, when he was with me. We ascended 
from Bury St. Edmunds, and came down near St. 
Neots. The ground was so hard that it smashed the 
grapnel ! We dragged a long way before we got 
anchored, tearing an upright post out of the ground, 
as if it were a tooth-pick, and we only just missed 
being violently whirled into some telegraph wires, 
which would no doubt have finished us off all right. 
As it happened the balloon was burst from neck to 
valve, and the car stove in, but we ourselves escaped 
without injury, though we had to hang on to the 
guy-ropes for dear life to save ourselves from being 
hurled out as the car turned clean over once or twice. 

We hovered over Bury during this trip for a con- 
siderable time, as motionless as Burnaby's balloon 
was over the Channel. At length I got tired of this 
kind of thing, and told Simmons to pull the valve- 
line. From an altitude of five thousand feet or so 
we dropped to perhaps three thousand, and soon 
afterwards found ourselves travelling at the very 
respectable rate of twenty-five miles an hour. 

Not being myself a witness of the fatal accident 
which cost Simmons his life, I cannot safely offer any 
remark as to whether or no the disaster was the result 
of absolute carelessness. But though it is in the 
descent, as a rule, that most of the accidents occur, 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 149 

it is not by any means necessarily fatal to catch in 
a tree. Indeed it sometimes happens that a tree is 
the best place to come to anchor in. More than a 
hmidred years ago, Mr. Blanchard, the Maxim of his 
day, in the company of Dr. Jeffries, an American, 
crossed the Channel from England to France for the 
first time in the history of ballooning. Before he 
and his companion had safely got over the water, 
their balloon began to descend with rapidity, and 
they only managed to keep up by flinging out their 
ballast and everything else in the car ; they even 
disposed of their hats and coats, though it was 
winter time. Fortunately the balloon appears to have 
changed its mind just before touching the water, and 
they were eventually taken up again, and carried 
away into the forest of Guieppe. Here one of the 
aeronauts caught hold of the branch of a tree, and the 
balloon's dangerous flight was successfully arrested 
without any accident. Blanchard's feat fired the 
ambition of a rival balloonist, Pilatre de Rozier, who 
at once resolved to cross the Channel from France 
to England. He fixed to the hydrogen balloon, by 
which the weight was to be borne, another and much 
smaller fire balloon. This, he believed, would enable 
him to alter his specific gravity as might be required. 
The fire balloon speedily set the fabric in flames, and 
Pilatre and his companion were destroyed. Fifty 
years ago an English aeronaut escaped from an ex- 
plosion through fire in a truly miraculous manner. 
He alighted in his balloon upon a chimney on fire. 
The balloon caught fire and exploded, but the aeronaut 
dropped in the very nick of time down the side of the 
house, and thus escaped. 



150 FORTY YEAES OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

The most dreadful aeronautic position, perhaps, 
which it is possible to conceive was that in which 
Burnaby and a couple of Frenchmen once found 
themselves shortly after making an ascent from 
Cremorne. One of these Frenchmen had invented 
the balloon used, and was exceedingly proud thereof. 
It would probably have never ascended at all had 
not Burnaby, who volunteered to go with the theorists, 
slyly dropped some ballast out of the car. When 
about a mile and a half or a mile and three-quarters 
high, the appalling discovery was made that the 
neck of the aerostat, which should of course, in ac- 
cordance with the usual custom, have been left open 
in order to allow of the gas escaping, was still tied 
up with a silk handkerchief. The balloon was now 
quite full, and the atmospheric pressure was rapidly 
decreasing as the aeronauts ascended ; whilst the 
gas, having no exit, continued to expand. The 
aerostat was constructed in such a way that it was 
not possible to get at the neck, and so unloosen the 
fatal handkerchief ; whilst, to make disaster doubly 
assured, the valve-line was quite out of reach. Under 
these circumstances, the only thing the aeronauts 
could do was to sit still and wait for their balloon 
to burst and dash them to the earth. To Burnaby 
death seemed absolutely certain. In a few minutes 
the balloon did burst, and instantly began to rush 
earthwards at a velocity that increased every mo- 
ment. But by a piece of wonderfully good fortune, 
the balloon somehow in its headlong career down- 
wards formed a kind of huge parachute, and the 
occupants landed unhurt in a field just outside the 
Metropolis. 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 151 

By the way, Burnaby had a ballooning fad of his 
own, on which he dilated to me on one occasion. It 
was his ambition to reach a height far above that 
achieved by any other aeronaut, and he had an idea 
that this might be done by being clad in a kind of 
diver's dress to avoid the intense cold, and by taking 
with one a supply of oxygen, the lack of which defeats 
the balloonist ascending beyond a certain height. 
To have carried out this idea successfully — he never 
actually tried it — he would have had to ascend to 
a great altitude, for in 1862 Mr. Glaisher and Mr. 
Coxwell actually attained a height of seven miles. 
I have recorded the experiences of Simmons and 
myself at a height of 17,000 feet, which were not 
over-agreeable. But these two intrepid aeronauts, 
having three-quarters of an hour after their ascent 
from Wolverhampton reached to an altitude of five 
miles, calmly flung out sand till they attained a height 
of 29,000 feet. Before this was done Mr. Glaisher 's 
sight had begun to fail, so that he could no longer 
read the fine divisions on his instruments. As they 
continued to ascend, the balloon rapidly spun round 
and round, and as a consequence the valve-line be- 
came so entangled that Mr. Coxwell had to chmb up 
into the ring above the car to set it right. Mr. 
Glaisher became unconscious, and his companion was 
in almost as critical a condition. He had great 
difficulty in extricating himself from the ring, which 
was so piercingly cold that his hands were frozen. 
After a struggle he dropped somehow back again into 
the car, and there feeling himself becoming Hke Mr. 
Glaisher, insensible, made one despairing effort. He 
caught the valve-fine — now unentangled — in his 



152 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

teeth, and, despite his dazed condition, held the valve 
open till the balloon at last began to unmistakably 
descend. When Mr. Glaisher was restored to con- 
sciousness, he found his friend's hands were quite 
black and powerless. The history of ballooning 
furnishes no more thrilhng episode than this, and 
Mr. Coxwell's admirable presence of mind and perse- 
verance in the direst of extremities must give him a 
high and enduring place in the ranks of aeronauts of 
all time. It shows what sort of a man Burnaby was, 
to think seriously of putting into the shade the exploit 
of these two balloonists. 

Once Simmons's balloon ascended with such 
rapidity to the height of 30,000 feet, that he fainted 
away. Fortunately he had a turn of the valve-Hne 
round his hand when he sank insensible amongst the 
sand-bags, and this soon brought him down to a 
lesser altitude. He was thus saved in much the same 
manner as were Glaisher and Coxwell. 

At various times different people have expressed 
a desire to go with me on a ballooning excursion. 
Don Carlos — to whom, by the bye, I was introduced 
by an excellent aeronaut, the late General Brine — 
has talked about it, and so have several steeple- 
chasers. One of the people who was quite ready to 
go a-ballooning with me was Lord Marcus Beresford. 
I asked him to go with me when I made an ascent 
with Dale from Lilhe Bridge, but he was engaged 
elsewhere. Curiously enough we passed, by pure 
chance, over Tattenham Corner, and there was Epsom 
course spread out far below us ! I decided to come 
down, which we did on Walton Heath, three miles 
from the course. A number of spectators were soon 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 153 

alongside of us, and one fellow made a desperate 
endeavour to climb into the balloon by the neck. 
There was imminent danger of his tearing it, so I 
ordered him to desist. He took umbrage at this, and 
wanted to fight. I was not indisposed to do battle 
on behalf of the balloon, but his friends dragged him 
ofi. A little while later whom should we meet return- 
ing from a cricket match but Marcus and Jack Jones ! 

Little Dale I esteemed as a capital and most 
plucky aeronaut, though he had not the immense 
experience of Simmons. A very short time before 
his last and fatal ascent at the Palace, I visited Dale, 
and promised to go up again with him very soon. 
After Dale's death I was glad to be able to offer 
his widow a house-rent free for two years in South 
London, which offer, by the way, she declined. 

Concerning Dale's death I had some remarks to 
make from the Chair of the Balloon Society, shortly 
after the accident, which were somewhat misinter- 
preted in several of the daily papers. I was repre- 
sented as attributing the disaster to the fact that 
Dale ascended in a balloon made of inferior materials. 
But he was far too good an aeronaut to have done 
such a thing. It was and is my view, however, that 
he, being a poor man, kept his balloon rather too 
long for his own safety. The disaster occurred from 
the material partially rotting through being packed 
away damp ; and it was found that nearly every 
bone in his body had been broken by the fall, as was 
the case with de Groof, the " flying man " impostor. 
For many years brave little Dale afforded, at the 
Crystal Palace, great amusement to many thousands 
of people. 



154 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

My friend, the late General Brine, who made the 
trans-Channel trip with Dale in August 1884, gave 
a very useful and entertaining lecture before the 
Society some years ago, in the course of which he 
vividly described what may be termed the senti- 
mental side of ballooning. " I have come here to- 
night," he said, " to treat of ballooning in its scientific 
aspects only, but I cannot bring myself to say adieu 
without asseverating that in my humble opinion the 
calling of the aeronaut has as many charms, if not 
more, for the poet and the philosopher as for the 
scientist. What sensation, for example, can equal 
that experienced by the aerial voyager, when, in his 
journey through the atmosphere, he actually touches 
the very clouds which are the ' chariots of the Al- 
mighty ' ? And what circumstances can be so much 
calculated to impress him with reverential awe and 
astonishment passing the power of speech, as when, 
seated in his frail car suspended from a spherical 
mass of inflated canvas, and riding triumphantly 
over the summits of the loftiest mountains and along 
the vast deep, he plunges into those mighty atmos- 
pheric reservoirs whence come the rain, the hail, 
and the snow, and introduces himself to those heavenly 
arsenals with all their attendant mysterious pheno- 
mena, whence issue the lightning and the thunder- 
bolt that strike such terror upon the earth ? " 

Another aeronaut of that time was M. L'Hoste. 
To look at, he scarcely conveyed to us the impression 
of being a very adventurous or resolute man, but 
his record was a good one. He twice crossed the 
Channel, but a third attempt to cross from Dover 
to Dunkirk cost him his life. On Nov. 16, 1887, 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 155 

he and M. Mangot made an ascent. They were last 
seen about forty miles south of the Isle of Wight, 
and it was supposed that a storm of wind and rain 
which was raging at the time must have driven their 
balloon into the sea. No trace of it, any more than 
of Mr. Powell's, was ever discovered. 

Up to the present time there have been, I think, 
about a score of trans-Channel balloon voyages, ex- 
clusive of MM. Bleriot's and de Lesseps' successful 
flights on monoplanes, and Mr. Rolls' double journey 
on a biplane, and in the case of about half this number 
the start has been made from England. In addition 
there have been three trips from Dublin to England, 
and one across the Bristol Channel. In all, these 
trips have cost five lives. In seven cases the aerial 
travellers were cast into the sea, but picked up by 
vessels. Amongst the most notable voyages over 
the water within my own ballooning experiences 
were — 

(1) Colonel Burnaby's, March 23, 1882. 

(2) Simmons's, June 10, 1882 (when I broke my 
leg). 

(3) M. L'Hoste's, Sept. 9, 1883. 

(4) Simmons's, Sept. 13, 1883 (about six weeks 
after our voyage across the North Sea). 

(5) M. L'Hoste's, August 7, 1884. 

(6) General Brine's and Dale's, August 15, 1884. 
Since the last-named date M. L'Hoste, as we have 

seen, has been drowned ; Simmons killed (August 27, 
1888) close to my own house, and the scenes of 
several of his sensational exploits ; and Dale killed 
at the Crystal Palace on June 29, 1892. General 
Brine has also long since " joined the majority." 



156 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Thus of six balloonists who were all bent on crossing 
and recrossing the water a few years ago, only one 
remains to-day to tell the tale, namely, myself. With 
Burnaby's end all the world is familiar. His fame 
is as great and untarnished as on the day when 
England first heard of, and mourned over, the loss of 
one of her bravest soldiers. If any one were base 
enough to ask of what avail to his land were 
Burnaby's gallant deeds on the field of battle, there 
could be no better reply than this — 

" The greatest gift a hero leaves his country 
Is to have been a hero." 

The Channel trips have unquestionably been made 
at a considerable sacrifice of life, but it is doubtful 
whether ballooning is quite so perilous a pursuit as 
generally regarded. In the course of ten thousand 
ascents, in which fifteen hundred aeronauts were 
engaged, it was calculated not long since that only 
fifteen lives were lost, less than one in every seven 
hundred ascents. I have not had an opportunity of 
checking these figures myself, and probably they do 
not include all the ascents made during recent years ; 
but they appear to be on fairly reliable authority, 
and, even if not perfectly accurate, help to throw 
some light on the matter. 

Ever since I saw the ballooning, ineffectual 
though it usually was, during the siege of Paris, I 
have always believed that the aeronaut ought to be 
of great service in campaigns. It was my ambition, 
even whilst I was lying helpless after the accident 
at Maldon, to assist the British army in Egypt by 
means of ballooning. I felt sure if I could make a 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 157 

successful ascent or two I should be able to materially 
assist the General in command. Accordingly, hoping 
to be soon on my feet again, I wrote and proffered 
my services, but received a reply to the effect that it 
had been decided not to use a balloon at all in the 
course of this campaign. None the less I made up 
my mind that if I got well I would go out on my 
own responsibility and take my balloon with me. It 
was a great disappointment as the days and weeks 
wore on to find that there was no hope of my leg 
getting right again in time to accomplish this inten- 
tion. The injury was a worse one than I had sup- 
posed. I may add that in my opinion, as in that of 
a good many others, a balloon would have been much 
more serviceable than the armour train which was 
actually used, and which proved no very great 
success. 

After this date, it will be remembered, a balloon 
came into requisition at Suakin in March 1885. This 
was the first time a balloon was ever used by a British 
fleet at war, and about that period the question of 
whether dynamite could be thrown at an enemy by 
aeronauts was quite seriously discussed. Later on, 
in the year 1887, the British War Department con- 
ducted experiments at Chatham with a view of test- 
ing the use of captive balloons for taking observations 
in war time. It is rather more than a hundred years 
since a balloon was first used on the field of battle. 

Considerable use might be made of balloons in 
war time for the purposes of photography. I made 
an ascent with Dale and two photographers from 
Lilhe Bridge, our object being to take some good 
views of London, but unfortunately the atmosphere 



158 FORTY YEAES OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

became clouded and we were not successful. We 
descended at Walton Heath without mishap, or indeed 
any notable adventure, and afterwards there was a 
lecture at the Society on an electrical stationary 
balloon which had recently been invented. Colonel 
Hope, V.C., seconded the President's proposal that 
a volunteer balloon scientific chair should be formed. 
Reference was also made to a question which should 
be of very general interest, namely, on the taking 
of observations from a balloon for meteorological 
purposes, which would enable weather forecasts to 
be made with much greater certainty and definiteness 
than at present. 

Before quitting the subject it may be well to re- 
mind the public why it was that the ballooning experi- 
ments at Suakin, and also in Bechuanaland, proved 
of little use. These experiments were comparatively 
unsuccessful, I believe, because the wind happened 
to be almost invariably unfavourable for the purpose 
of the aeronauts. It may be readily understood that 
a captive balloon is only of use in the absence of 
anything like a strong wind. The department was 
under the charge of Majors Templar and Elsdale, 
who caused all the hydrogen gas to be conveyed to 
the scene of action from Chatham. The balloons 
were manufactured out of gold-beaters' skins. 

I conclude with what may prove a useful tip to 
aeronauts, who have not made up their minds as 
to the best kind of liquor to take with them for 
refreshment, and with a ballooning incident not 
without humour, though I quite failed to see it in 
such a light at the time it occurred. I feel sure the 
blue ribbon army — though I am not yet exactly one 



SOME BALLOONING EXPERIENCES 159 

of their number — would approve of the beverage I 
firmly beheve in and always take with me a-balloon- 
ing — cold tea. I first learnt its virtue in my soldier- 
ing and sporting days in India. It is an admirable 
refresher for men engaged in any precarious or ex- 
citing occupation when alcohol is, or ought to be, 
out of the question. Bottled beer in the rarefied 
air into which the aeronaut plunges will, so Simmons 
assured me, nearly always burst. 

As regards the humorous ballooning incident, it 
was this. On a certain occasion I had arranged to 
have the balloon I had hired inflated and ready for 
the ascent considerably before mid-day. When the 
appointed time arrived, however, the preparations 
were not nearly complete. An hour passed by, and 
the work of inflation was still unaccomplished. 
Daylight is almost above all other things precious 
to the balloonist, and here we were wasting the 
best part of the morning. Meanwhile as I waited 
and fretted big crowds of people poured into the 
field from which the ascent was to take place. I 
am not sure whether the railway did not run special 
and excursion trains to accommodate those who 
desired to see us start. It afterwards transpired 
that the enterprising person who was entrusted with 
the work of inflation had charge of the gas works 
through which the spectators passed, and had con- 
ceived the idea of charging them sixpence each. 
Naturally the longer the inflation of the balloon took, 
the larger his receipts. It must have gone against 
the grain to let us start before nightfall ! 



CHAPTER VI 

MORE STEEPLECHASING 

"M[ OW for a real downright pig of a horse com- 
mend me to Condor the Second. He was a 
horse of course of a vastly different calibre from Baron 
Hill, quite apart from the question of behaviour. 
Condor in fact could do almost anything he chose, 
but then he never did choose. I rode him for Jones 
on January 16, 1885, at Wye, when he was top 
weight by ten pounds. He could probably have 
won if he had cared to, but, as it was, got well beaten, 
only coming in third. Lady Mildred was first, and 
Madame Neruda, ridden by Mr. Goodwin, second, 
in this hurdle race, the Olanteigh Towers Handicap. 
Again on April 7 of the same year I rode Condor the 
Second for Jones, that time at Lewes. I was actually 
winning, when he suddenly took it into his obstinate 
head to stop short, and there was an end of it. I 
was top weight, or something like it, on the occasion, 
but this had nothing to do with my not winning, for 
he was not in the least beaten when he gave up. On 
the flat, as well as steeplechasing. Condor nearly 
always behaved in the same way. Webb, Arthur 
Hall, and other leading jockeys had been tried as 

160 



MORE STEEPLECHASING I6l 

his riders, and tried, as a rule, in vain. I asked 
Fred Archer, who had ridden Condor the Second 
more than once, whether the brute behaved in the 
same way with him, and his reply was, " Yes, 
always." 

March 14, 1885. — Champion Lodge Hunt and 
Mihtary Steeplechases. Once again we had excellent 
weather and a big attendance. In the first event, 
the Point to Point Steeplechase, Kaliph, owned and 
ridden by my brother, was alone backed. He won 
anyhow. In the Hunt Cup, Sporran was fancied. 
I made play on him for about three-quarters of a 
mile, after which we had a ding-dong race till a 
quarter of a mile from the winning-post, when Mr. 
Cooke's Hochheimer, ridden by Mr. E-odwell, forged 
ahead and won easily. Sporran finished third. In 
the Farmers' Plate I had a mount on Mr. Rust's 
Architect, and was again fancied. I jumped them 
all down, and finished at my leisure. My brother 
Tyrell won the Hurdle Race Plate on Elmina, who 
was made favourite, whilst Forester with myself 
up did not pass the post. After a rattling fine race 
for the United Service Cup, I was beaten on Cold- 
stream by Mr. W. Cobbett's Maryx. The latter 
was ridden by Mr. J. Cobbett, and fell at the water- 
jump, but all the same managed to win the race. In 
the Consolation Steeplechase only two started, my 
brother and myself. I won on Sporran, by a little 
less than a length after a good race, though at first 
he refused the water. The owner of my brother's 
mount expressed great dissatisfaction at the result, 
and seemed to suppose the race had been thrown 
away. Thereupon I offered to ride the race again, 

11 



162 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

with my brother or any jockey in England whom 
he might select, on Nimrod, but the ofier was not 
accepted, and the affair passed off. 

Colonel, afterwards General, Byrne was invariably 
one of the Stewards at this meeting, as at others 
in the county. We all knew him as " one of the 
best." He was called in the Service " Gentleman 
Byrne,'' owing to the refinement of his manners. 
Many anecdotes are told which show that " Gentle- 
man Byrne " did fairly earn his sobriquet. During 
the Fenian Riots he was in command of his Battery 
at the Curragh. Strict orders were given that no 
officer should go to Dublin without special permis- 
sion of the General officer. This was very irksome 
to some spirited young fellows, one of whom resolved, 
come what might, to break through the regulation. 
He accordingly took his ticket for Dublin, and got 
into a railway-carriage, in the far corner of which sat 
a gentleman hidden behind a newspaper. After the 
train had started the paper came down, and revealed 
to the culprit's horrified gaze none other than one 
of the field-officers of the division. " Gentleman 
Byrne " recognized his travelhng companion. But 
instead of reprimanding and afterwards putting him 
under arrest, he treated him with the greatest cour- 
tesy, and even offered to place at his disposal his own 
phaeton, which would be waiting the arrival of the 
train at Dublin. 

One of the drawbacks of having a clinking good 
horse must always be that bores cease not to pester 
the owner as to whether or no he fancies it for various 
races. What struck me as a decidedly neat snub was 
administered by Byrne at Ascot one afternoon to a 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 163 

persistent bore. The would-be plunger rushed at 
the General as he was mounting the iron staircase to 
see his horse Amphion run, and asked could he give 
the weight ? " That is what I am now climbing 
these steps," replied the General most politely, with 
a wave of his binoculars, " to see." 

The Point to Point Steeplechase has always been 
a favourite one with many local people at the Cham- 
pion Lodge meeting, and the same thing obtains in 
other local gatherings. At one time we were rather 
hampered by the regulations of the National Hunt 
Committee, which tended to somewhat severely 
penalize riders who took part in these races. The 
whole question of the Point to Point came up in 1885, 
when the following motion was set down for a meet- 
ing at Weatherby's in the name of the Stewards : 
" Horses having once run in Point to Point steeple- 
chases will not be quahfied to run in races under these 
rules until a certificate of the Point to Point steeple- 
chase in which they ran, signed by a Master of Stag- 
hounds or Foxhounds, be lodged with Messrs. 
Weatherby, who will register and advertise it in 
their Calendar on payment of one Sov., and a horse 
having won under these conditions will not be con- 
sidered a winner under these rules. The certificate 

to be as follows : (1) I hereby certify that bond 

fide Point to Point Steeplechase took place at 

on day. (2) That not more than three steeple- 
chases took place there on that day. (3) That 
the course was practically unflagged. (4) That the 
races were for bond fide maiden hunters only. (5) 
That no money was taken at the gates, or at any 
stand or enclosure in connection with the races. 



164 FOETY YEAES OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

(6) That the winning-post was placed within the 
Kmits of the country hunted over by my hounds." 

It was no doubt time to take action in regard to 
Point to Point steeplechases, but I ventured to plead 
at the time for a little relaxation of this rather 
stringent certificate. We in Essex were accustomed 
to carry out this, the most popular race of the day, 
by ending on the run-in of the steeplechase-course, 
where everybody could see the finish with far more 
comfort than they would if the winning-post were 
elsewhere. Many hunting men will not sport silk 
between flags, but they are quite ready to put on 
their hunting coats for a Point to Point. It was in 
the interest of such sportsmen that I ventured to 
speak up for this particular kind of race. Personally 
I have never had a preference for any one class of 
race qr steeplechase as against another. But some 
have strong views on the subject. A lady once 
remarked to me that she would far sooner win the 
Point to Point than the Ladies' Cup, it being " such 
a much more sporting event." 

It is impossible to so organize your race meetings 
as to exclude all blacklegs and light-fingered gentry ; 
and almost the only jarring note in the chorus of 
approval which greeted these annual concourses arose 
from those who seemed to think that I was personally 
responsible for the occasional misconduct of unde- 
sirable visitors. There was some correspondence 
respecting the theft of a watch and chain from a 
clergyman who attended the meeting one year, and 
really I do believe that a few enthusiastic anti-sport 
folk considered I was responsible in the matter ! It 
was urged seriously that I ought not to advertise the 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 165 

meeting, because this brought down bookmakers 
and sharpers from town. As a matter of fact, one 
is bound to advertise meetings held under the aegis 
of the National Hunt Committee. I pointed out 
that you might as well hold the Stewards of the 
Jockey Club responsible for all the offences of a 
similar kind committed at Newmarket or elsewhere. 
But it is no use arguing with your anti-gambling, 
anti-sport faddist — any more than it is any good 
for him to argue with you ! 

The next day but one found me riding again at 
Chelmsford. On this occasion I had a mount on 
Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson's Deception, and won 
the Chelmsford Steeplechase. This horse was very 
bad at starting. He whipped round just before we 
got away, and lost a hundred yards or so. Fortu- 
nately I got off all right in the end, and made up for 
lost time, thanks chiefly to the consideration of the 
starter, who ran the other side of my horse and 
waved the flag at him. This had the desired effect, 
and I proceeded to make the pace a regular " cracker." 
Now Architect, the horse I had steered to victory a 
few days before, was in this race, and I was the un- 
conscious agent of his destruction. The pace killed 
the old horse, and he fell dead on the course about 
a mile from home. 

Next month I was busy at various meetings, such 
as Lewes, Harlow, Ipswich, and Plumstead. At 
the last-named I rode Sporran on April 11, but failed 
to score in the Open Military Plate, which was won 
by Mr. Lawson's Hay Fever. At Harlow I rode 
Romeo for Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson in the Essex 
Open Steeplechase, and again in the Consolation ; 



166 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

I was second in the former, which was won by Stud 
Groom, with Mr. Colvin up, and fell in the latter, 
which Mr. H. E. Jones secured on Knight. The 
Essex Open, by the way, I should have won save for 
a bit of bad luck. I got up beside the leading horse, 
and found I had got him beaten. But a few moments 
later Romeo blundered and lost the race. Deception, 
my winning mount at Chelmsford the previous month, 
won the Light Weight Hunt Cup in a canter, with 
L Bailey riding. These steeplechases were of a 
private character, and held in connection with the 
Essex Hunt. The second day was a great one for 
the favourites, nearly all of whom came in first. 

At Ipswich, on April 16 and 17, I did myself well, 
riding in three races the first day and five the second 
day out of a possible six ; the only race I could not 
get a mount in being the Harrier Hunt Cup, given 
by the Duke of Hamilton, for half-bred horses, bond 
fide hunted with the Hamilton Harriers during the 
season 1884-5. The first day I did nothing worth 
speaking of, but was more in luck's way on the 
second. I scored nothing on Romeo in the first 
event, a Maiden Hunters' Steeplechase. Starting 
favourite on a horse called Shylock, in a small field 
in the Essex and Suffolk Red Coat Race, I won by 
something like nine or ten lengths from Foxhound, 
ridden by Mr. Alexander. In the following race I 
rode a four-year-old, carrying 11 st. 2 lbs., Mr. Poole's 
Ariosto, against Soubrette and Stella, which also 
belonged to Mr. Poole. I was badly beaten, coming 
in second, however, as Stella stopped dead in the 
middle of a field before we had gone a great way. I 
was also second in the next race on my own horse 



MORE STEEPLECHASINa 167 

Sporran, being beaten by a length or so. It trans- 
pired in the weighing-in after this race that I had 
carried seven pounds too much, which made a differ- 
ence, no doubt. The last race of the day, the Eastern 
Counties Hunt Cup, I won on Sir Henry Selwin- 
Ibbetson's Maid-of-all-Work, a rather nice mare. 

I did not feel particularly in need of a rest after 
this pretty stiff dose of chasing at Ipswich, so went 
down to ride in the Isle of Wight. On April 21 were 
the Castle Club Races, and next day the Isle of Wight 
Hunt Chases. I returned home, however, without 
having scored anything, and after a day or two at 
Epsom, turned up at Sevenoaks on May 13. I rode 
a horse in Jones's stable simply for a certificate, and 
was told he could jump anything standing, but always 
made a rule of refusing the open ditch. The infor- 
mation was correct. I got him up to the ditch all 
right, and there the brute stuck. A perfect swarm 
of stable-boys came running up, and tried their level 
best with clothes-props to help me get him over the 
ditch, which he eventually did jump standing. The 
annoying part of the affair was that several of the 
well-intended, but ill-delivered, blows of the stable- 
boys fell on my shoulders rather than on the horse's 
quarters. So ended my spring chasing season 
of 1885. 

In the autumn and winter of 1885 I did more 
hunting and shooting than chasing, but was as usual 
a good deal at Epsom. October 9, 1885, is a black- 
letter day in my diary. Cartridge, purchased in 1876, 
had to be shot. She was the cleverest of jumpers, 
with, as I have mentioned, a great reputation in 
Essex. 



168 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

A horse which recalls much less pleasant memories 
than Cartridge is Forester, whom I was riding about 
this time. He was a purchase from Joneses stables, 
and never won me a race. I gave £200 for the 
horse, and at a time when half that sum would have 
purchased a clinking good animal called Standard, 
who soon afterwards won the Grand Military, or 
Amethyst, who won a big steeplechase at Worcester, 
and another at Leamington a little later on. Fores- 
ter cost a good deal of money in all before we were 
happily rid of him, and he was the most expensive 
horse and biggest crock I ever possessed. He was 
given away to a friend as a park hack, and fell down 
dead not a great while afterwards. 

A rough-up at Sandown early in March 1886 was 
disastrous to Red Hussar, a very fine horse indeed. 
Jones was anxious to give Coquette, belonging to 
his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, all the 
schooling possible in order that she might have a good 
chance of winning the Grand Military Gold Cup, in 
which she was shortly to run. Bewicke was on Red 
Hussar, Fisher on Coquette, and I on Flushing. The 
ground was terribly hard, and we really ought not to 
have been out at all. Red Hussar, before we had 
gone very far, split a pastern, and had to be at once 
destroyed. The horse was so great a favourite that 
before he had lain dead for ten minutes almost every 
scrap of hair had been cut from the mane and tail 
by the mob to be kept by way of mementoes. How 
hard the ground was may be judged by the fact that 
there were something like ten broken collar-bones 
in Jones's and Iquique's stables, about half of which 
were snapped that afternoon. An offer to buy Red 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 169 

Hussar had come from a high quarter very shortly 
before this misfortune, and it was known that a heavy 
sum had been named as the price. 

Tliis training disaster reminds me of a most un- 
fortunate trial, the particulars of which were related 
to me by an old chasing comrade. Returning one 
evening from Wye, having most unexpectedly landed 
an eight-to-one chance and upset a good thing of 
Yates's with Sensier up, I strolled into the Naval and 
Military Club, when a cheery hail from the depths 
of an armchair, " Have you dined, old fellow ? " 
revealed to me the beaming countenance of Billy 
Morris — now, alas ! no more, killed, like Whyte 
Melville, in a grip no bigger than a water-furrow. 
Having told him I had dined, he replied — • 

" Well, bring yourself to an anchor, and let's have 
some coffee, a smoke, and a yarn." 

This suited me well, as I had as much respect for 
little Billy's head as his hands, which were generally, 
if not unanimously, admitted to be the best in the 
British army. Amongst my steeplechasing acquaint- 
ances there was not one his equal in observing and 
graphically describing the incidents of a cross-country 
event. Being connected with the same stable, a topic 
of mutual interest was not difficult to find. As one 
of our nags was first favourite for the big event at 
Croydon to be decided the following week, I hazarded 
a suggestion that it was a good thing for us. A 
groan was the only answer. 

" Halloa, old chap, what's up ; a twinge of rheu- 
matics ? " 

" Oh, of course you know nothing about it," was 
the reply ; and forthwith Billy proceeded to unfold 



170 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

his tale of woe, which I will try and relate as much 
as possible in his own words. " We're now at York, 
as you are aware. Yesterday morning a wire was 
handed me from Marcus, ' Come at once, do not fail.' 
The chief, with a merry twinkle, pretty shrewdly 
guessed what the game was, and at once granted 
leave. Though he doesn't sport silk now, you know 
what a bad one to beat he is with hounds. You 
remember what a cracker he led us with that good 
up-wind afternoon dog-fox from Lightly, right under 
your own windows, along the straight run-in of your 
private course, through South Wood, across the very 
best of your country, past Squarson Leigh's, with 
those fine horsemen, George Blake on Cartridge and 
Billy White on Tommy Dodd, riding knee to knee 
in a way which reminded one of the old days over 
the Middlewick course. By the bye, our brave old 
Chilblain was out that day, and your delight when 
the Tedworth Finder pulled the fox down in — where 
was it, Holland or Jamaica ? — for no fox-hunter had 
ever before seen the death honours of a fox in such a 
morass as was your East Anglian lagoon. But I'm 
rather running riot. Catching a fast train south, 
I'd time for a snack at the ' Spurs,' and to get com- 
fortably down to Epsom Station, where our worthy 
trainer and jockey, Jack Jones, met me and soon 
rattled me up to Priam Lodge. There I found 
Marcus, and Jack's brother-in-law, Arthur Hall. 
Ensconced in Jack's snuggery, which is so tastefully 
decorated with many mementoes of his patrons' good- 
will, a characteristic evening was spent discussing 
our battles past, present, and future — not the least 
important, of which was that which had been the 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 171 

cause of my wire, viz. that C , the favourite for 

the Great Croydon Handicap, was to be ' asked the 
question ' the following morning, and we saw no 
particular reason why the noble army of touts should 
know more of the stable secrets than we could help. 
Jack, of course, was to ride the favourite. Marc old 
Woodcock, a most reliable trial horse, whilst Hall 

and I were to have the mounts on Q and T 

respectively to ensure a pace. Mrs. Jack had care- 
fully locked the lads in their dormitories, from which 

durance vile they would not be released till C 

had satisfactorily or otherwise been through the 
mill. Weights having been carefully adjusted, about 
two hours before daylight we adjourned to the stables, 
saddled our horses, mounted and jogged along by 
the bye-lanes to Sandown, where everything had 
previously been quietly prepared. As day began 
to break we could distinguish the trees above and 
beyond the grand stand. Having filed on to the 
course, but little time was lost in getting into line 

and starting. Q jumping a bit the quickest 

into her bridle, led up to the first flight of hurdles, 
where she showed temper, and whipping round ab- 
surdly carried the others with her. So we laughingly 
returned to the starting post. No mishap followed a 
second attempt. The minor details of the trial will 
hardly interest you. Suffice it to say that it was a 
fast-run one. Hall and I had performed our allotted 
tasks, and were easing our horses somewhere oppo- 
site the lower part of the public stand enclosure, and, 
although at the wrong angle, watched the finish, so 
far as we could, with considerable interest. With 
one of his powerful rushes Jack seemed to come away 



172 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

from the half distance, and gradually overhauling 
game old Woodcock a few strides from the winning- 
post, landed C a clever winner. He subsequently 

ascertained it was three-quarters of a length. A 
gratified look had hardly passed between us, and a 
misty idea that the bookies' shekels were in my 
pocket, and that there would be no difficulty in 
springing that extra pony which would transfer that 
raking chestnut of Bob's from his stable to mine, and 
the following week the Rugby Venus Tankard from 
Hunt and Roskell's shop-window to my sideboard, 
when a remark from Hall arrested my attention. ' I 
don't like the way the master's dismounted ; hope 
there's nothing wrong.' Increasing our pace up the 

hill we found something very much wrong. C 

was on three legs ; he had broken down the stride 
past the post. The glorious uncertainty had indeed 
reminded us of its existence, to our great discom- 
fiture. Leaving Hall to make the cripple as com- 
fortable as circumstances would admit, a somewhat 
melancholy trio wended their way back to Epsom. 
On arriving outside the stables, Jack's face was a 
study at seeing the touts squatting about like so 
many peccaries, waiting the favourite's appearance 
for morning exercise. ' I hardly suppose the mischief 
has leaked out yet. Here, waiter, give me the 
" Special." ' By Jove, hasn't it, though ! look here, 
sixty-six to one ofiered. The acumen of touts is 
simply appalling." 

This breakdown was naturally a bit of a facer, but 
fortunately just then the stable was in rare form, 
and by the time the so-called illegitimate season 
had closed, the winning brackets represented a for- 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 173 

midable total, and the balance at Weatherby's a 
correspondingly healthy appearance. Not a small 
proportion of the brackets was earned in military 
steeplechases, the winners of which were almost 
invariably ridden by poor little Morris. 

March 23, 1886, the date of the Chelmsford Steeple- 
chases, was a blank day to me so far as the scoring 
of any win was concerned. I rode, however, in five 
races, and was placed in three of them. In the 
Chelmsford Steeplechases Plate I started favourite 
on Ubique, who broke down badly, the event being 
won by Maid-of-all-Work ; favourite again in the 
Roothing Steeplechase Plate on Mr. Poole's Heath, 
was well beaten by Lady Bell ; second favourite in 
the Essex Open Hunters" Steeplechase on Merrilegs, 
was placed third ; an outsider in a Hunters' Selling 
Steeplechase on Sporran, was second to Mr. Percion's 
Matilda ; whilst in a fifth race was of course out 
of it on that brute Forester — not a very satisfactory 
day, considering I had ridden in five out of six races. 

This year the Champion Lodge meeting fell on 
April 1. I rode in six events that day, and in four 
of them was second, being quite out of it in the other 
two. The Ladies' Cup fell to Mr. Barkley's Problem, 
the wretched Forester being second in this race, and 
nowhere in the last event of the day, the Consolation. 
Captain Henderson's Paleface, ridden by Mr. Pure- 
foy, won the Hunt Cup, the only other starter being 
Sporran, with myself up. Telemachus (Mr. Tippler 
up) was first in the Champion Lodge Cup, and Flushing 
second, both starting at odds of 4 to 1 against. Tele- 
machus also won the Selling Hunters' Hurdle Race 
Plate, beating Ariosto, my mount. 



174 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

I did not ride again in April, but in both May 
and June following put in an appearance at a good 
few meetings, local and other. At Ipswich, on May 5, 
I won two races on a mare called Misunderstood — 
this despite an ugly fall in my second race that day, 
which so shook me up that it was scarcely easy to 
hold the reins. Fortunately Misunderstood had a 
beautiful mouth, and was very easy to ride. Both 
races, namely, the Shrublands Park Maiden Hunters' 
Steeplechase, and the Essex and Suffolk Red Coat 
Race of three miles " over a fair hunting country," 
were won by three lengths. In the first race I started 
second favourite in spite of my sprained wrist, and 
beat Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson's Lorna, the first 
favourite ; whilst in the second started top weight, 
and rather a hot favourite, if my memory has not 
failed me. Mr. J. B. Charters came in second on 
Garryowen. In the Military Steeplechase my mount 
was Pictus ; but though favourite he did not succeed 
in repeating his previous successes with me as his 
rider. Captain Lee Barber also had a nasty fall that 
day, breaking his collar-bone. The chasing came off 
on the old Ipswich course. 

Talking of falls, I once came to much grief through 
trying to rise and remount when there was a horse 
close behind me. I got struck on the head and 
rendered unconscious as a punishment. It would 
have been far wiser to have lain still and allowed 
the horses behind to pass over me. A horse is as 
squeamish as a tame elephant about treading on a 
man. Once the Marquess of Queensberry riding in 
a race at Punchestown, came down when leading in 
a field of thirty-six. He lay flat, whilst the other 



MOKE STEEPLECHASING 175 

horses passed over, or close to, him. There is no 
denying that it requires some patience to do this, 
but it is the only safe course to adopt. 

This reminiscence of Queensberry as a rider recalls 
a rather quaint incident in his career as an owner 
of race-horses. He bought a horse called Morris 
Dancer for £700, and ran him several times. The 
horse was over-handicapped, however, and could do 
nothing. Quite disgusted, Queensberry at length 
resolved to try and get rid of the animal, and offered 
him to anybody who would buy him on the course 
after the last race. Everybody laughed at the offer, 
till at last a butcher ventured to say he would run 
to a five-pound note. Queensberry promptly closed 
with this princely offer. Shortly afterwards he was 
surprised by seeing the horse entered in two races, 
and handicapped no less than two stone lighter than 
he had ever been on previous occasions. Thereupon 
he wrote to the butcher, told him the horse couldn't 
lose, and asked to be allowed the mounts. The 
butcher was naturally quite willing, as the Marquess 
was a fine rider. So Queensberry rode in, and won 
both races, backing his mount in both events. He 
then offered to buy Morris Dancer back for £200. 
The butcher, nothing loath, consented. At once the 
horse got over-weighted again, and never afterwards 
won a race. 

About now Blondin was astonishing, or rather 
re-astonishing, London with his tight-rope walking 
at the Albert Palace, and being in town on May 12, 
I repaired to Battersea one day to see the performance. 
I pressed him to take me across the rope ; but he 
made excuse that the electric light was rather trying, 



176 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

and said he therefore could not accede to my request. 
He would only take his son across with him. It 
seems to have been a fact that his sight was not then 
what it had been a few years before, but knowing 
his extraordinary surefootedness I had not the least 
hesitation in making the request, and would have 
gone on his back without any misgiving. I should 
have made a point of not falling without at any rate 
carrying Blondin along with me, and Blondin, in my 
opinion, simply could not fall. He promised to take 
me across the rope on some future occasion should 
a favourable opening offer, but it never did. 

Southwell, May 3, 1886. — Here I won the Hunters' 
Flat Race on my mare Imogene, starting at 5 to 1 
against. She was by Queen's Herald out of Imogene, 
and trained by Jones. Captain Maudslay's Mercia, 
the favourite, was second, and Mr. Pidcock's Soudan 
third. This was one amongst probably many races 
won by a long and painstaking examination of the 
ground early in the morning. I found a shepherd's 
track, but so close to the rails that in sticking to it 
in the race I quite expected once or twice that my 
shins would get broken against the heads of some of 
the spectators who craned forward to see the sport, 
as people do when at all interested in an event. It 
was necessary to hug the rails for a good while, so 
as not to get ofi the track into the deep ground, 
through which the other horses were ploughing their 
weary way. The craning necks were no doubt one 
and all drawn discreetly back as I came up to close 
quarters, but in my hot haste I did not perceive 
this, and felt that an accident was almost inevitable. 

As regards devices for winning a race, George 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 177 

Fordham had one which in the case of a very close 
finish was certainly not likely to confuse the judge 
in a way unfavourable to himself. He would throw 
himself forward almost between the ears of his horse, 
and so seem to be first past the post in cases where 
the race might otherwise have been adjudged a dead 
heat, or even, it may be, given in his rival's favour. 
Every inch in the case of a very close finish makes a 
difference, and it is quite conceivable that the judge 
seeing a jockey's colours first past the post would 
award the wearer the race, even if his horse's nose was 
beaten by an inch or two. 

At Aylesbury, the same month, it fell to my lot 
to ride another very ill-tempered horse — Quarter- 
master Brown's Galloway. It was on the flat, but 
Galloway suddenly took a fancy for a bit of steeple- 
chasing. We went of! the course, and over the 
brook. It is scarcely necessary to add that he was 
not placed in that race. At Wye, on June 17, I was 
second to Chorister, ridden by Butcher, in the Selling 
Hunters' Hurdle Race, with Imogene ; and the fol- 
lowing week was racing on the flat at Stockbridge. 
Here I rode Imogene one day in the Hunters' Plate, 
won by Amy with Billy Bevill up, but was not 
placed ; and Cutlet in the Andover Stakes, another. 
Cutlet, the property of Arthur Yates, and trained at 
Bishops Sutton, was, like Condor II., a perfect rogue. 
He would scarcely ever try, but when he did was very 
hard to beat. Sensier did once win a race on Cutlet, 
not a little to his own surprise, starting at long odds. 
In this race at Stockbridge, Cutlet was quite out of 
it. George Lambton won on Lord Lurgan's Polemic. 

When Billy Bevill, the rider of Amy that day at 

12 



178 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Stockbridge, ceased riding, some years ago now, he 
was the oldest gentleman jockey, or at least the oldest 
known at all to the public, living. 

Billy Bevill, like Fred Beauclerk, never believed 
much in his own oratorical powers. At a dinner at 
one of the Bibury meetings. Sir John Astley and 
others drank his health with acclaim. He got up 
to make a speech in response, and this is what he 
said : "I am very much obliged to you for having 
drunk my health, but I would a deal rather ride a 
race than make a speech." With that he sat down 
abruptly. 

What an enjoyable affair used the " Hampshire 
Week " to be in those days ! The charms of the 
twin meeting over the Danebury Downs have been 
so often dwelt upon, that there is no need to repeat 
them here. Amongst the regular frequenters there 
were : — Lord Portsmouth, Caledon Alexander, Sir 
John Astley, Lord Falmouth, Henry Savile, the 
Duke of Hamilton, the Duke of Beaufort, Sir Frede- 
rick Johnstone, and Lord Alington, Count Kinsky, 
Prince Soltykoff , Duchess of Montrose, General Owen 
Williams, and Sir William Throgmorton. The pass- 
ing years have made a sorry gap in the ranks of these 
patrons of Bibury. 

Flat racing, as mentioned earlier in this book, has 
never been either my metier or my ambition. It lacks 
the stirring incidents, the hazards, and consequently 
the excitement of the steeplechase. Very few men 
have been strikingly successful, so far as my experi- 
ence goes, both on the flat and across country, though 
now and again we come across a jockey, like Arthur 
Coventry, who is perfectly at home racing as well 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 179 

as chasing. Jim Adams might presumably have 
been regarded as decidedly successful in his day in 
both provinces. One mount in a big steeplechase — 
the Grand National — ^was enough and to spare for 
Webb, and Rickaby has also made a little chasing 
go a long way. Some who have grown too weighty 
to be any longer useful on the flat, take to steeple- 
chasing with a certain amount of success, but they 
are few and far between. Steeplechasing of course 
has not the pecuniary inducements which are offered 
by flat racing ; it has no Jubilees and Eclipses. 
Nevertheless, Fred Archer always had a fancy to 
try his hand at a big cross-country event one day. 
He said he would ride in the Grand National before 
he died, but the intention was never carried out. 

There was chasing at Wye in the early part of 
January 1887, but several meetings later on during 
this and the following month had to be abandoned 
owing to the hard frost. I went down to Savernake 
to ride in the Steeplechases, which it was intended 
to hold there, but the ground was too iron-bound to 
permit of their coming off, and we had to wait for 
sport till March 8. On that day the Rugby Chases 
were held. An interesting reunion to me at this 
meeting was that between myself and " Bay " 
Middleton. We had ridden just twenty years 
before, first and second respectively in the South of 
Ireland Military, and had not once met as antago- 
nists on a racecourse in the interim. At Rugby 
" Bay " won a race on Punjab, and I one on Flushing. 
Twenty years is a good slice out of even a long 
sporting life ; but we both recalled our Iri,ih con- 
test very clearly, and not without some lively 



180 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

emotions. " Bay," by the way, though unlucky 
enough to lose the South of Ireland Military, which 
I was fortunate enough to win on Maid of the Mist, 
had won two races that day in the spring of 1867, 
one on Black Prince, the other on a mare called 
Sophy. 

My win at Rugby was the Ladies' Plate. Flush- 
ing's success in this race seemed to show that a horse 
usually repays an owner for individual attention 
and supervision. Whilst at the trainer's this horse, 
who was rented from Billy White, was always singu- 
larly unfortunate ; whereas the first time he ran 
after removal to Champion Lodge, where we were 
able to train him ourselves, he won a race. Captain 
Elmhirst's Vanity Fair came in second, ridden by 
Captain Lindsey, who was beaten by a length and 
a half or so. A bad third. 

Next day we turned to Loughborough to take part 
in the Quorn and Donington Hunt meeting. In a 
field of two for the Half-bred Steeplechase Plate, 
the betting was seven to four on my opponent, Mr. 
Lewin's Brunette. I was on Chatterbox, who was 
hired from a friend. Brunette won, but an objec- 
tion was lodged and sustained on the ground of 
not being a maiden. The stakes therefore fell to 
Chatterbox. 

Talking of disqualifications, it was once gravely 
stated that Wenty Hope Johnstone in a race in Ireland 
had appealed against five opponents, and got them 
all disqualified. Wenty was asked if that were so. 
He said. No, it wasn't, but told of a decidedly curious 
thing that had occurred in relation to this particular 
race. He had lodged an objection against the 




p. 180] 



WENTY H(J]'K JOHNSTONE. 
(From " Vanity Fair." 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 181 

favourite, which was allowed. Now the owner of 
the favourite was also the owner of the horse Wenty 
had ridden. Surely this case is an absolutely unique 
one ! 

One of the Louises used to write " Nothing " in 
his diary — even at a period when the fortunes of his 
kingdom were at stake — if there was no hunting. 
So a steeplechaser at times — during, at any rate, 
the steeplechasing season — may well set down the 
same word when he gets no sport worth speaking 
of. Thus " Nothing " at Chelmsford Chases on 
March 24, 1882, and ditto at 13th Hussars' Chases 
at Manningtree on April 12. On April 27, Greek 
Fire and I repaired to Thick Thorn. Greek Fire 
would certainly have been first instead of second in 
a fair race on the following day, had not my oppo- 
nent ridden clean across, for which outrage he ought 
to have been disqualified at least as deservedly as 
Brunette. But the judge's decision was not upset. 
There is not of course the satisfaction, or anything 
like it, of winning a race through the disqualifica- 
tion of one's opponent as there is in beating all com- 
petitors in a fair-and-square race. It may be added 
that the jockey who spoilt Greek Fire's chance on 
this occasion in such an inexcusable manner was 
the merest amateur ; had he been a professional or 
a seasoned rider, his conduct would have disqualified 
him to an absolute certainty. 

At Ipswich, on May 5, my colours were not promi- 
nent ; but on the 17th, Edensor won. The horse 
originally belonged to the Duke of Hamilton, who 
was present, and said he had never seen the horse 
looking better. He endeavoured to bolt o£E the 



182 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

course in this race — the Tradesmen's Cup at Bungay 
— with the evident idea of turning into the stables 
where he had slept overnight. But his rider did not 
see his way to accommodate Edensor, and instead 
the horse won the race. That was the last race for 
me in 1887, a trip to North America in search of other 
varieties of sport being arranged shortly afterwards. 

Edensor would have had a great chance of win- 
ning the Grand National, in my opinion, if he had 
only been entered for that race. He was a beautiful 
jumper, and would not have carried more than 
ten stone on his back at Liverpool. Since passing 
out of Marsh's hands, Edensor had done a good 
deal of hunting, in our cramped Essex country, and 
the music of the hounds had probably made him 
take kindly to jumping, We had carefully " sum- 
mered " him on the saltings, and got his legs as fine 
as a foal's. Had he landed upside of the leaders over 
the last fence at Liverpool, his fine turn of speed 
would have about carried him home. When in 
America I wrote to have him entered for the race ; 
but ought to have wired, for he had been sold 
before the message was received. Marsh, curiously 
enough, despaired of Edensor as a steeplechaser, 
and decided that he was only fitted for hurdle 
racing. 

When in the winter of 1886 Mr. Stanley's African 
expedition was being arranged, I had every inten- 
tion, could it be managed, of forming one of the 
party. We met and talked the matter over. Mr. 
Stanley's staff, however, was complete at the time, 
and moreover, whilst good enough to say that I was 
well fitted to be one of his party in nearly all respects, 



MORE STEEPLECHASING 183 

he pointed out, what was perfectly true, that want 
of Central African experience was a drawback. The 
interview therefore did not promise good results, nor 
was a second one with him and Sir Francis de Winton, 
a few days later, more productive. What I ought 
to have done was to have gone to the point of de- 
barkation, and there in all probability Mr. Stanley 
would have accepted me as a member of his party. 
Friends who were aware of the offer I made to Mr. 
Stanley of my services, have on more than one 
occasion observed that it was very fortunate it came 
to nothing, as otherwise there would have been an 
ugly split between us, such as naturally occurred 
in regard to Major Barttelot. But my interview 
with Mr. Stanley was of a most friendly character ; 
nor is there the slightest reason in my mind to sup- 
pose that we should of necessity have fallen out had 
my offer been accepted. Discipline should always 
be one of the chief laws of life to every man who has 
been in the Service ; so much may be safely said 
without making the least comment on the unhappy 
quarrel which threw a dark cloud over this African 
expedition of Mr. Stanley's. 

Even more keenly have I had cause to regret 
my lot in not being able to take part as a volunteer 
in several of our little African wars. Unfortu- 
nately the terms of my father's will compelled me to 
insure my life heavily about the time of my marriage, 
and the insurance companies, as is well known, 
are enabled to put on a very high war premium. 
This shut me out of the various campaigns in South 
and North Africa during the last twenty-five years 
or so. In particular I was very keen to go to the 



184 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Cape as a volunteer at the time of Isandula ; but 
it was clearly intimated to me that I should be 
penalized by a very heavy and additional premium. 
I had therefore to stay at home, and fret over my 
baulked projects. 



CHAPTER VII 

A TEIP TO FLORIDA 

In these days of universal travel it is a difficult 
matter to strike what may be termed new ground. 
Indeed, it is almost impossible, and the nearest 
approach one can make to novelty is to pick out the 
spots least frequented by those two ubiquitous speci- 
mens of humanity, the sportsman and the British 
tourist. Bearing this in mind, and having received 
an invitation from an ex-sailor, I determined on a 
short tour through Florida, with Cuba to follow. 

So having written to S to meet me at Douglass's 

Tropical Hotel at Kissimmee, set about collecting 
my impedimenta, and engaged a berth by the 
Cunard boat from Liverpool to New York. Of 
course there are many ways of getting to the Stars 
and Stripes, and the traveller can have his choice of 
which line he will elect to travel by. Mine fell on 
the Cunarder, and there was no cause to repent it ; 
everything on board was most comfortable, and 
with fine weather we made a rapid passage, arriving at 
Sandy Hook almost before we had well cleared the 
Mersey — at least so it seemed. 

From New York there is again a choice of routes. 

185 



186 FOETY YEAES OF A SPOETSMAN'S LIFE 

You can take the luxurious vestibule train or the 
steamer to Jacksonville, where it will not be amiss 
to spend a couple of days at St. Augustine, in the 
palatial hotel. Ponce de Leon, built after the style 
of old Moorish architecture. From Jacksonville 
you will take the train to Kissimmee ; or, better 
still perhaps, the steamer down St. John's Eiver to 
Sandford, and then on by rail. 

Arrived at Kissimmee, Mr. Douglass will, assum- 
ing that he is still in the land of the living, make you 
thoroughly comfortable in the Tropical Hotel at an 
exceedingly moderate outlay, and will put you in 
the way of obtaining either a steamer or boat to the 
best sporting ground, which is in the neighbourhood 
of Fort Bassenger and Lake Arbuckle. 

On arrival at Kissimmee, I found all arrangements 

had been made by S , who had also got punt 

and everything in readiness so that there was 
nothing for me to do but overhaul the shooting-irons 
and kit, and prepare for a start. While on the 
subject of shooting-kits, it may be mentioned there 
is no necessity to bring out cartridges, as a gun- 
maker in Kissimmee, called Farringdon, can supply 
every requisite ; and, what is more, is particularly 
careful in loading. When ordering cartridges I 
found American wood powder by far the best, and 
can recommend it strongly. Flannel is the best 
material for clothing, and a stock of quinine should 
not be forgotten. These, however, are details. 

On Tuesday, December 13, we left St. Elmo at 
7.15 a.m., arrived at the south end of Lake Tokho- 
pekaliga at 1 p.m., and passing quickly through 
the canal into Lake Cypress, and on through a second 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 187 

canal, came into Lake Hatchinelia, just as daylight 
was vanishing. Here we were lucky enough to 
hit off a sandbank studded with oak copse, and dry 
wood being plentiful, soon had our camp fire under 
way, and supper. The whif! of tobacco, and glass of 
Bourbon whisky which followed the evening meal, 
were both mighty acceptable, for we had had nine 
hours' hard rowing under a blazing sun, and were 
both fairly tired out. At least I can answer for it 
that it was with a feeling of deep satisfaction I curled 
myself up in my blankets for the night, and was 
quickly lulled to sleep by a chorus of frogs, with the 
occasional '* ouf, ouf \ " of a somewhat consumptive 
alligator. 

The following morning we were up betimes, and 
after an early breakfast packed our boat and made 
a move. Although there was no definite agreement 
made, I somehow drifted into the rowing, shooting, 

and timber- felling department while S " bossed " 

the steering, fishing, and cooking side. On arriving 
off Fort Gardner we came across a party of five 
Seminoles headed by Tom Tiger, a fine stalwart 
Indian, who we gathered was likely to be elected 
chief when old Tallahassee departed for the happy 
hunting grounds. Pocahontas, who married an 
Englishman named Rolfe, was reputed to have be- 
longed to this nomad tribe. She was for some 
years in England, and rumour said that she was still 
living in a large cypress swamp to the south of 
Lake Okeechobee, called the Everglades. If this 
were correct, she must have reached a ripe old 
age, as she is said to have died in England in 
1617! 



188 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

The Seminoles, though now friendly, fought gal- 
lantly under Tallahassee against the whites, and it 
took the American troops some years before they 
were enabled to thoroughly subdue them. Whilst 
we were palavering with Tiger and his followers a 
moccasin snake slipped off the bank and commenced 
to swim the river. With my first barrel and a charge 
of No. 4 shot I only managed to wound him, and 
back he came right at us. Luckily he was turned 
white side up at a second attempt, and he floated 
down the stream. The moccasins and rattlesnakes 
are the most numerous and deadly of the Florida 
reptiles, besides being exceedingly pugnacious, so it 
was just as well we did not get to close quarters. 
Having arranged with the Indians to bring us some 
skins, we continued our journey down the river into 
Lake Kissimmee, and camped under a hummock on 
a fine ridge of sand — a hummock being the local name 
for clumps of variegated timber. 

The next day, the 15th, we paddled down to 
Floridelphia in time for the midday meal, and having 
arranged with our guide to meet us the following 
day on one of the neighbouring lakes, returned, 
meaning to ascend the Tiger River. But missing 
the entrance we were brought up in the " bonnet " 
(waterlilies), so had to give it up and make our 
way back to Floridelphia by the light of a new moon. 
Early in the morning, before daylight, we were forced 
to shift our quarters, for a heavy sea got up, and 
our punt became none too pleasant. After break- 
fast, however, we took Louis, a " cracker " {i.e. one 
of the local squatters, so dubbed on account of their 
powers of manipulating the stock-whip), as guide, 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 189 

and started for Tiger Creek, which we reached at noon, 
and at once commenced its ascent, little dreaming 
of the difficulties we should have to surmount, or 
the severe tax on our powers of endurance that would 
be required before arriving at its source. A strong 
current had to be stemmed, the turns were both 
numerous and sharp, and at times we were forced to 
use both axe and saw where the channel was choked 
with willow, bonnet, water-lettuce, flags, buttonwood, 
and maiden cane, whilst to make matters extra 
pleasant, at the most critical part, with a crack and 
a splash, overboard I went, if not " amidst the 
sharks and whales," amidst the thousands of alli- 
gators and snakes which inhabited the adjoining 
swamp. However, it is a long lane that has no turning, 
and we at last entered Tiger Lake, and skirting its 
eastern shore, beached the punt whilst Louis went 
ofi to a log-hut for a few necessaries. During the 
time he was away I took the opportunity of re- 
plenishing our larder, and managed to bag half-a- 
dozen snipe— a welcome addition, but one which very 
nearly cost me my life, for in struggling through 
some flags to gather one of my birds, my foot came 
right on the top of a huge moccasin, who was coiled 
up close to where it fell. Happily, he was as 
much frightened as myself, and dived out of sight 
instantly, at which I was very grateful, for my legs 
were bare, and had he bitten me it would without 
doubt have been fatal. On Louis's return we pulled 
round the lake till near Rosalie Creek, where we 
camped after dark, and spent a most unpleasant 
night, being much worried by ants, to say nothing 
of an aggressive centipede, on which S nearly 



190 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

put his hand. Saturday, the 17th, we were up 
before sunrise, and had a fruitless tramp of four hours 
through the swamp after deer and turkey. Probably 
old Tallahassee's hunters had been before us, as 
we saw plenty of signs, but beyond that nothing. 
The timber and undergrowth in the swamp were 
very fine, consisting of three different kinds of oak, 
black and bay gum, maple, ash, wild mulberry, pine, 
palmetta, and saw grass. After this we shifted camp, 
and all three took a stroll for duck and snipe — though 
what Louis expected to kill with a Winchester rifle, 
which was the weapon he selected, was only known 
to himself. That night we were visited by one or 
more members of the rat tribe, who managed to make 
a tolerable supper of three courses, viz., one boot, 
one sock, and one gaiter. 

Next morning we returned in the teeth of a stiii 
breeze to Tiger Creek, and the steadiness of the punt 
in a nasty choppy sea quite astonished us. The 
unfortunate Louis proved himself a thorough lands- 
man, and kept on bemoaning his hard fate, wishing 
between the paroxysms of sea-sickness that he was 
once again driving cows. Once he nearly came into 
collision with a moccasin snake in some boimet, 
which fairly frightened him out of his life, and had 
the desired effect of keeping him a little quieter. 
On this journey I did not fall overboard, but varied 
the performance by stepping with my naked foot on 
to the spoon bait, and then, while trying to extricate 
the barb, drove the tail hooks into my other ankle. 
It may be imagined after this I was grateful to an 
Indian who accepted the machine as a present, and 
who certainly rated it far above its value. That 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 191 

afternoon we bid farewell to our guide, as we dis- 
covered that his knowledge of cooking far exceeded 
that of venery, and that his ability in emptying the 
pot was well in advance of his powers of replenishing 
the same. 

In the evening we lit our fire close to where we 
had previously camped in the angle of two huge 
branches of a fallen oak, and were shortly afterwards 
joined by Tom Tiger and his nephew. We then 
proceeded to look for our supper, and were fortunate 
in shooting a couple of duck, which Tom and his 
relative helped to devour. Before supper com- 
menced, however, the former gentleman amused 
himself by enshrouding his athletic form in my 
Inverness cape, and then suddenly remarked — 

" You got yellow fever ? " some rumour of that 
disease, which had been raging in Tampa, having 
evidently reached his ears. 

" No," I replied. 

" Aha," rejoined Tom with pride, " I got measles," 
and removing the cape and opening the front of his 
hunting shirt, he showed me a plentiful crop of spots. 
" You think me bad ? What medicine I take ? " 
he then asked. But I was too flabbergasted to reply, 
for the Inverness was my only rohe de nuit, and I 
foresaw that I must either make up my mind to go 
without it, and thereby contract a certain cold, or 
else run the chance of catching the measles by wear- 
ing it. Eventually the latter course was adopted, 
happily without any evil results. 

In the middle of the night I was awakened by a 
heavy thud close to my right ear, and starting up 
found that our fire had undermined the branches of 



192 FOETY YEAKS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

the oak, and that one of them had fallen with tre- 
mendous force within a foot from my head on to my 
rug, a jagged branch driving it quite half a yard into 
the ground. Had it been a few inches to the left 
it would have converted me into a jelly. This was 
about the narrowest shave I ever had of visiting the 
Great Unknown, except perhaps once, when a friend 
knocked over a brave Portuguese just as he had got 

his knife between my shoulder-blades. S , who 

had coiled himself up in the punt for the night, also 
had somewhat broken rest, for in the small hours he 
suddenly found himself drifting out to sea, and had 
a hard paddle to get back. After breakfast we 
sculled to East Gardner, where for the next few days 
my time was occupied in supplying our larder with 
game from the prairie and pine-woods swamps, 

S having injured his foot, and consequently 

being unable to move far from camp. Leaving Fort 
Gardner we were taken in tow by the Arbuckle 

steamer, which landed S at St. Elmo's wharf 

shortly after midnight, and myself at Kissimmee 
City about half-an-hour later. Kissimmee, notwith- 
standing the high-sounding title of city, is nothing 
more than a straggling village, whose morals are 
looked after by a mayor and two policemen, or 
rather a marshal and his assistant. Marshal Bailly 
was a fine old Georgian who, besides being riddled 
with Northern bullets while serving under Lee, was 
ruined by the abolition of slavery without compen- 
sation. However, we found him a host in himself, 
and the short work he made of a rowdy cowboy or 
a refractory nigger was beautiful to behold. It 
seemed to me a pity we could not hand over Trafalgar 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 193 

Square to his keeping for a short time with the 
same freedom of action that is extended to the con- 
stabulary of the Republic. Here I remained for 
a short time before going on to Cuba, feeling better 
in health than ever before in my life ; and no wonderj 
for camping out in the fine climate of a Florida winter 
is most enjoyable, and with a liberal commissariat, 
consisting of fish, venison, and other varieties of game 
supplied daily by rod and gun, supplemented by a 
few tinned provisions, coffee, flour, rice, potatoes, 
hog and hominy, which we took with us, together 
with the constant exercise from sunrise to sunset, 
sometimes commencing before the former and ending 
after the latter, made one feel like a new man. To 
any one who is fond of sport, and is feeling a little 
out of sorts, a trip to Florida may be confidently 
recommended. 

When in Havana on my way home from Florida, 
I not unnaturally desired to play some part, if 
possible, in the bull-fights which take place there. It 
would have been a pleasant ending to the excellent 
small sport we had been enjoying in America. There 
was a demand for picadors, as a good many men 
employed in that capacity had recently sufiered 
severely and fallen out of the ranks, but a very in- 
adequate sujDply. Regarding this as a good oppor- 
tunity to " cut in," I offered my services as picador. 
But the bull-fighters, if jealous of each other, were 
even more so of a stranger and outsider. They 
traded on their reputation of being the only people 
who could face the bull, and they would no doubt 
have lost prestige if an outsider had been allowed 
to act as picador, and had proved at all successful in 

13 



194 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

that capacity. Accordingly they would not hear of 
my taking any part in the fight, and I was obliged 
to go away unsatisfied. No Englishman had ever 
acted as picador over there, and I had hoped to 
establish a record and precedent. 

This short sojourn in the West Indies reminded 
me of sailoring days spent there more than twenty 
years before, and especially of the shameful way 
in which Governor Eyre was treated by, one regrets 
to have to say, the English Government. The con- 
troversy concerning Eyre was reopened some years 
ago in one of the newspapers, and a member of the 
Carlton Club wrote vainly trying to prove that the 
leader and instigator of the mutiny — which, had it 
not been effectually crushed out by the Governor's 
promptness, might have resulted in a general butcher- 
ing of all the whites in the island of Jamaica — was 
quite unjustly hanged. My memory is pretty vivid 
in this matter, as we were almost in the midst of 
the mutiny, and received the most accurate account 
of all that took place. About the guilt of the ring- 
leader there can be no possible shadow of doubt in 
the mind of people really conversant with the affair ; 
though it may be admitted that there was a slight, 
or what may be called a technical, irregularity in 
the way he was captured and executed. The Mutiny 
Act was not operative over the whole of the island, 
and the leader of the rebellion was seized just beyond 
the line where the Act ended. It was somewhat 
like shooting a burglar a yard outside your house, 
instead of actually within it. Eyre probably saved 
the whites from a wholesale slaughter, and in reward 
he was dismissed, and, what was even worse, never 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 195 

given a post elsewhere. The whole thing was a 
shocking miscarriage of justice. Eyre was on one 
or two occasions on board our ship to consult the 
Admiral, and I recollect well enough taking him 
ashore in the boat in my charge. 

Though prevented from taking an active part in 
the bull-fights in Havana, I saw several exhibitions 
there, and later in Portugal. To many English 
people, even sporting people, the idea of going to a 
bull-fight as a spectator is a repellant one. But we 
ought to clear our minds of cant in discussing the 
frequently agitated question of cruelty in sport. After 
seeing a good many bull-fights, and talking with 
people who are well versed in the matter, my con- 
clusion is that it entails far less cruelty than several 
sports which are in high favour in this country. Take 
battue shooting, for instance. I am not going to 
preach against it, by any means — though I do con- 
sider it a somewhat luxurious form of sport, and in- 
finitely prefer to make a small mixed bag over a good 
dog — but it is idle to gainsay the fact that these 
monster days amongst feathered game mean a great 
deal of acute suffering. However deadly the shots, 
a percentage of the birds get wounded, and creep 
away out of reach of beaters and game-gatherers to 
endure much prolonged suffering. 

Now in bull-fighting the pain endured by the 
animals is probably small compared to that endured 
by the wounded pheasants and hares. There is no 
question whatever about the bull itself thoroughly 
enjoying the sport. The pheasant does not want 
to be shot at, nor the fox to be hunted, but the bull 
does want to fight. It is the beast's nature. He 



196 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

is pricked a good deal, no doubt, and rendered furious 
in consequence ; but what is his pain in comparison 
to that of a pheasant with a broken wing or leg ? 
Next to nothing. Then as to the horses : they are, 
it is true, injured, and finally killed. I am the last 
in the world to view with approval brutality towards 
horses, and should not fail to intervene where possible 
and practicable. But the lot of the horses used for 
bull-fighting purposes is infinitely preferable to the 
lot of the wretched animals that are doomed to drag 
the ordinary Spanish diligence. Two blacks do not 
make a white, but if you approve on behalf of the 
horses of doing away with bull-fighting in Spain, 
you ought to approve even more of reforming the 
existing state of things in regard to the Spanish 
diligence. 

The cruelty of the drivers is well-nigh incredible. 
It might almost disgust some of the worst drivers 
of hansoms in London. The Jehu of the diligence 
indeed knows no mercy, and many who have 
travelled in Spain by road must have noted the fact 
that when opportunity ofiers he will usually prod 
the wretched animals on a sore place. The stick 
with which he belabours his horses is of a very hard 
wood, and used with no little force. In a single stage 
a horse can, and often does, sufier more pain than 
is likely to result from the wounds received from a 
bull's horn in the arena. 

No doubt this view of bull-fighting is a little out 
of the common. Bagot and Churston, my shooting 
and yachting companions in the Mediterranean, 
came to a very difierent opinion after they had seen 
a fight at Malaga, which, by the way, certainly does 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 197 

appear to have been a very sanguinary affair ; but, 
depend upon it, there are plenty of people who, if 
they went out shooting and saw hares and pheasants 
suffer, would be quite as much upset by the sight as 
by an ordinary bull-fight. Bull-fighting as practised 
in Portugal is certainly in some respects a more 
artistic performance than that of Spain. The horses 
used are much finer, and altogether too good to be 
exposed to the certainty of injury which the Spanish 
animals incur. The riding too in these Portuguese 
performances is very pretty. Bagot has given a 
good description of a Lisbon fight in his little book 
on Shooting and Yachting in the Mediterranean. 

" After the usual preliminaries, and march past," 
he writes, " the ring was cleared, and in came El 
Toro with padded horns and a piece of board strapped 
across his forehead. Then appeared two Portu- 
guese noblemen riding their own horses (rare good- 
looking nags, too), and the fun commenced, the 
object of each rider being to plant a small banderillo, 
in the shape of a rosette, in the bull's neck, and get 
away before the bull knocked himself and horse head 
over heels. There was some very pretty play and 
good riding, and the entertainments was varied with 
other feats, such as riding the bull bare-backed, 
getting into a barrel, and letting the animal roll it 
about the ring, vainly trying to get at the man 
inside, who, having made the bull perfectly furious, 
would wait his opportunity, and jumping out run 
like a hare for the barrier with Toro in hot pursuit. 
One individual was just a moment too late, and the 
bull caught him before he could get over, and hove 
him fairly into the middle of the spectators follow- 



198 FOKTY YEAKS OF A SPOETSMAN'S LIFE 

ing himself clean over the barrier amid shouts of 
laughter. However, nothing worse than a fevs^ bruises 
was the result, and when we got back on board we 
all agreed we had spent a very pleasant evening, 
and that Lisbon bull-fighting is worth ten of the 
Spanish performances." 

In that excellent book, Wild Spain, Messrs. Chap- 
man and Back give a glowing picture of the com- 
mencement of a Spanish bull-fight, which will help 
to show even the most prejudiced that there is some- 
thing in " tauromachia " other than brutality. 
" What a spectacle," write these authors, " is pre- 
sented by the Plaza at this moment ! One without 
parallel in the modern world. The vast amphitheatre, 
crowded to the last seat in every box and tier, is 
held for some moments in breathless suspense : 
above, a glorious canopy of an Andalucian summer 
sky : belovr, on the yellow arena, rushes forth the 
bull fresh from his distant prairie, amazed yet un- 
daunted by the unwonted sight and the bewildering 
blaze of colour which surrounds him. For one brief 
moment the vast mass of excited humanity sits spell- 
bound : the clangour of myriads is stilled. Then 
the pent-up cry bursts forth in frantic volumes, for 
the gleaming horns have done their work, and Buen 
toro ! buen tow ! rings from twice ten thousand 
throats." 

The performances which I witnessed at Havana, 
and tried to take part in myself, were only fairly 
good. There was a good deal of carnage without 
any superlative display of skill. The best men, for 
instance, Espartero, who came by sucii a tragic end 
in the arena at Madrid not a great while ago, or 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 199 

Xerezano (that is, a man from Xeres), would not find 
it worth their while to settle in Havana, when they 
can make an income far exceeding that of the best- 
salaried Spanish minister by staying at home. A bull- 
fighter's income in Spain does not compare ill with 
that of a first-class jockey on the flat in England. 
There is no doubt that a great number of the 
habitues at the Spanish bull-fights are of a decidedly 
brutal turn of mind. As a very prominent and 
successful bull-fighter remarked, they are never con- 
tent unless the most difficult and most dangerous 
feats a man can accomplish in the arena are con- 
stantly being repeated. If an espada, having 
achieved a feat requiring a superlative display of 
skill and courage, does not do the same thing again 
when he next enters the arena, the audience feel 
aggrieved ; whilst, if he continues to attempt the 
same feat, he is almost bound in the end to come by 
his death in the arena. Having won a great repu- 
tation, the bull-fighter cannot afford to rest on his 
laurels. He must preserve it by constantly re- 
delighting his admirers with his most daring and 
clever devices, otherwise he will soon fall in the 
popular estimation. 

To regard the Spanish bull-fight as a merely brutal 
slaughter, without any redeeming feature, is to show 
oneself ignorant of the sport, and equally so of the 
history and traditions of this ancient country. It 
is idle to deny that the office of matador or espada, 
as well as that, in a lesser degree, of picador, demand 
the exercise of skill of the highest order, besides 
bravery and perfect coolness. No Englishman, who 
is accustomed to think highly of such qualities, can 



200 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

see a first-class matador overcome a very active and 
savage bull in the arena without a strong feeling of 
admiration. A matador carries his life in his hand, 
with a vengeance, when, single-handed and on foot, 
he challenges to mortal combat an infuriated bull. 
Should his courage, or his eye, or his feet fail him at 
the supreme moment, it is all over. Mr. F. C. Selous 
once related a stirring adventure he had had with 
a wounded lion. The animal, mad with pain and 
anger, came rushing upon him with the evident in- 
tention of exacting a deadly vengeance. Had he 
turned and fled, or lost his nerve and resource in any 
degree, probably nothing could have saved him. But 
he stood perfectly still, and merely yelled for the dogs 
to be let loose. His boldness caused the red-hot 
courage of the lion to cool, and the brute turned 
tail. There were cheers when Mr. Selous reached 
this point in his story. Englishmen cannot restrain 
a feelmg of generous admiration for conduct of this 
kind, and they never will. Conceive, then, what 
feelings must animate thousands of susceptible 
Spaniards, when they see one of the popular favour- 
ites perform some feat in the arena that requires an 
amount of bravery at least equal to that needed by 
a lion-hunter, and infinitely greater skill. The most 
exciting of all sports are those in which the human 
element plays the chief part, and in which the greatest 
pluck and resource are called for. Nothing in ancient 
or modern times, except perhaps the exhibitions 
of the Roman gladiators, has ever come near a first- 
class Spanish bull-fight in this respect. 

Then again, people who are ready to stigmatize 
the Spaniards as utterly brutal because they love 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 201 

the bull-fight, have not perhaps considered how in- 
extricably bound up with the ancient traditions and 
history of the country is the art of " tauromachia." 
We often talk about horse-racing as a national in- 
stitution in England, and it no doubt is so. Com- 
pared, however, wdth the bull-fight, it is, after all, 
the merest mushroom growth. Its traditions are 
great, and it has numbered amongst its ardent sup- 
porters not only princes of the royal blood, but 
statesmen of the highest prominence and popularity. 
But for centuries the chief performers in the Spanish 
bull-fights were many of the foremost noblemen and 
grandees in the country. It used indeed to be 
part of the " liberal education " of a Spaniard of 
distinction to have graduated in " tauromachia." 
Charles I., grandson of Isabel, killed a bull in fair 
fight in the arena in his day. 

When the Bourbons succeeded to the throne of 
Spain, bull-fighting gradually went out of fashion 
amongst the Spanish nobility, that is so far as the 
taking any personal part therein as matador or 
picador was concerned. This was not because the 
Bourbons were shocked at the custom, but rather 
by reason of their effeminate character. They 
** Frenchified " the Spanish nobility in this and other 
provinces. But even the secession of the nobles and 
grandees from the arena could not lessen the popu- 
larity of the bull-fight. There arose a class of pro- 
fessional matadors or espadas who took their place, 
and have ably filled it since. To judge by the incomes 
these men earn, and the enormous audiences that 
crowd to the various arenas to witness first-class 
performances^ bull-fighting has quite as strong a 



202 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

hold on the afcections of the people to-day as it has 
had at any previous period in the history of Spain. 

One more word concerning the charge of brutality 
which is brought against the Spanish bull-fight, and 
I have done. To those who do not even admit that 
in the toreo there is frequently to be seen what has 
been well described as "an unrivalled exhibition of 
human skill, nerve, and power," it is no use appeal- 
ing. But the question may be asked of those who 
do admit that great skill and pluck are shown by the 
best espadas, whether pain inflicted on the brute 
creation under these circumstances is not, at any 
rate, more excusable than pain inflicted where there 
is no such exhibition. There is surely nothing in the 
nature of an " unrivalled exhibition of human skill '' 
in potting pheasants, even if they are " rocketing '' 
birds. Moreover a wounded pheasant, in all proba- 
bility, suffers more pain, or, at any rate, usually 
suffers it much longer, than a horse in the 
Spanish bull-ring. AVe may feel for the horse more 
because we esteem it as a much better and more 
intelligent creature than the bird ; then, too, the 
size of the creature injured has a great deal to do 
with the size of our grief. We forget how " the poor 
beetle, which we tread upon, in corporal substance 
feels a pang as great as when a giant dies." 

Before arriving home I stayed both in Spain and 
Portugal. Whilst at Madrid, an attempt was made 
to get up a little boxing match, in which I was to 
play the part of a principal. The fact was the chief 
picador, or the man who in Portugal answers to the 
picador, was rather a bully, and had on several occa- 
sions knocked about the local police and other people 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 203 

into the bargain. So there was a desire to enlist 
some one who would " take it out " of him. I was 
urged to take on this bullying bull-fighter, and pro- 
fessed my willingness to give, or receive, a hiding. 
But it came to nothing, as the man would not be 
induced to risk his big local reputation as a pugilist. 

The 60th was at Gibraltar at this time, and I accord- 
ingly stayed there a while on my return home, and 
did some fox-hunting with the Calpe Hounds. It 
is rather a poor substitute for hunting with English 
packs. We were not allowed to gallop over the 
cultivated ground, and the " going," where one 
could ride, was of a dreadful character, the ground 
being mostly rocks. English horses could not stand 
it, but the country-breds which were used were 
certainly a very clever and useful breed. 

I left Spain on January 31, 1888, arrived at Ply- 
mouth on February 4, and after a day or two in town 
to see what there was to be seen after my long stay 
abroad, returned home, and recommenced fox- 
hunting. Frost militated against steeplechasing, 
so there was no sport for me to speak of till the 
Chelmsford meeting on March 15, 1888, when I got 
home first in the Galleywood Steeplechase on Brown 
Tommy — my first win for a long while past. De- 
scending the hill, we had to pull up and trot, so deep 
and sticky had the Derby digger made the stiff clay. 
In the ascent of the hill, the three leading horses 
were rolling from distress — a terribly severe finish 
that ! Brown Tommy was a tcn-to-one chance. 
The Toad, ridden by Mr. Tippler, led up the ploughed 
fields closely accompanied by the favourite. Sir 
Harry Selwin-Ibbetson's Burnouse, but soon after 



204 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

turning into the straight run in, Brown Tommy 
came to the front, and won by a little over a 
length. 

In my next steeplechase I again started the out- 
sider of the party, this time on Imogene. It was 
March 27, and a cruel day too for steeplechasing. A 
perfectly blinding snowstorm swept over the course, 
and was twice straight in our faces, so that we could 
not see our next fence till close up to it. This was 
the Solent Maiden Hunters' Steeplechase at the 
Grange Club meeting. Imogene was trained at 
Arthur Yates's stables, at Bishops Sutton. There 
were two good jockeys in that race, Escott and 
Dollery, but they certainly rode under great disad- 
vantages. Half-a-mile from home Imogene came 
out full of running, and heading the favourite, Cope 
(with Dollery up) won easily. Didn't the bookies 
cheer as she came in ! Imogene had probably not 
been backed at all, as it was generally understood 
that Cope, which had been backed for a lot of money 
at Sandown, and was trained in the same stable, was 
much the better. 

On the same day I once more started at ten to one, 
ridmg Spangle in the Alverstoke Selling Hunters' 
Flat Race. I had Spangle on racing terms. He 
could only get placed second, so my spell of good 
luck with rank outsiders was broken. The race was 
won by Sir I. Duke's Passing Shower, which started 
at something like three to one on — at all events a hot 
favourite. There was chasing again next day at 
Winchester, in which I scored nothing, Imogene 
being very sore after her previous exertions ; and 
this ended my little Hampshire riding expedition, 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 205 

with the exception of a couple of days' sport next 
month in the Isle of Wight. There were the Castle 
Club races on one day, and the Isle of Wight chases 
on another. Spangle and another were schooled 
and sent down for those events, but without any 
good result. 

Spangle, however, won the Tradesmen's Plate a 
week later at the Bungay Steeplechases. It was 
rather a good race that. Kelvin, the favourite, 
ridden by Mr. C. Thompson, made a desperate bid 
for victory, and once in the straight — Spangle having 
worked to the front after blundering at one fence — 
we had an exciting race neck-and-neck almost up to 
the post : won by half a length. Spangle was dis- 
qualified a long while afterwards, as it turned out 
that he was in the flat-race forfeit list. 

To fall twice in a field of five and yet win the race, 
is a thing one does not expect to do often in a life- 
time. On May 3, 1888, I did so, when riding Brown 
Tommy in the Essex and Suffolk Hunt Cup at Col- 
chester. Owing to recent floods the course was in 
a very rotten condition, and as a consequence every 
horse but one came down ! Five started, namely, 
Captain Hawkshaw's Lady Cherry, ridden by owner ; 
Mr. Wright's Patrician, ridden by owner ; Mr. 
Dunnet's The Toad, ridden by Mr. Percy Tippler ; 
Mr. Charteris' Countess, ridden by owner ; and Brown 
Tommy. They laid six to four on the last-named. 
Countess alone kept up, but she ran off the course. 
Brown Tommy won by a distance. 

I rode in all the races but one that day. In the 
East Essex Hunt Cup, won by Mr. Colvin with 
Cossack, the second favourite. Zither, refused ; nor 



206 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

could I do anything in the Middlewick Cup won by 
Hochheimer, which Mr. Percy Tippler steered to 
victory. In the Military Steeplechase, Cerise, with 
myself up, walked over. Four horses entered for 
the race, including my own ; Coloony did not 
start. All the favourites, save Cossack, the second 
favourite, won that day. 

The summer, autumn, and winter of 1888 were 
spent between Essex, Hampshire, Portugal, Spain, 
France, and London. But there was no riding to 
speak of in any of these places. Reference has been 
made in this book to the difficulty of keeping oneself 
thoroughly fit when leading a London life. About 
this period I discovered a pleasant way of getting 
exercise, namely, sculling on the Serpentine. It may 
be strongly recommended to jockeys, and, for the 
matter of that, to anybody who cares for aquatic 
exercise. You may frequently have the Serpentine 
to yourself early in the morning, for very few people 
seem to care for rowing and sculling there except 
the shop-assistants and their lasses on Saturday and 
Sunday afternoons. One other cross-country rider 
has occasionally sculled on the Serpentine to keep 
himself fit, namely, Roddy Owen ; whilst only a 
few hours before his death I met Sir Robert Peel on 
the banks in his whites, though I cannot say whether 
he was going on the water. There is also swimming 
to be got in the Serpentine, or Long Water, as all the 
world knows, at certain hours, even in the depth 
of winter. I asked a friend to enter me for the 
contest held there last Christmas day, and as I should 
probably have been made limit man owing to age, 
ought to have had a good chance of winning. But 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 207 

lie could not find out about it in time, and the oppor- 
tunity passed. 

Even those who love neither bicycle nor tricycle 
may admit that wheeling is another excellent way 
of keeping fit when in London for any length of time. 
Not a few officers in the Guards used to be seen 
disporting themselves on *' safeties," and amongst 
other ardent cyclists was Lord Queensberry. " Q," 
as his intimate friends called him, once spun up from 
the Star and Garter, Richmond, to his place in town 
in forty minutes. A punch-ball used to be one of 
his favourite methods of taking exercise, and that, 
again, if one has a suitable room for it, is a rare good 
way of keeping oneself fit in town. 

Friends often chaff me about my habit of taking 
exercise in all manner of queer ways, and for going 
out for a walk or run without a hat. Now Sir 
Thomas Barrett-Lennard, of Belhus hunters' fame, 
did really take his exercise in an uncommon manner. 
When he felt that he was growing too fat, he would 
take off his coat and waistcoat, put them in his 
carriage, and run home briskly by the side of the 
horses. Sir Thomas was so fond of doing this kind 
of thing at all hours, that more than once he was 
chased by his own keepers, and on one occasion all 
but run in by a vigilant policeman, who actually 
captured the coatless baronet, and was not for 
some time to be persuaded that his doings were of 
a lawful character. 

Sometimes I was yacht-racing in the orthodox 
fashion in the Solent (when I usually managed to 
go to sleep during what to some appeared the excit- 
ing part of the day) ; at others playing racquets, 



208 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

a grand game at which I have usually managed to 
hold my own, though certainly not a " flier " ; and 
at others, again, turning up at bull-fights in the 
Peninsula, or races in France. But in the spring of 
1889 I addressed myself again to steeplechasing, 
taking part chiefly in East of England meetings. At 
Colchester, Woodbridge, and Ipswich, I rode without 
winning anything, and on May 2 we had our own 
steeplechases. 

In the summer of 1889 I tried to make up for 
my rather unsuccessful chasing season in the earlier 
part of the year, by sport in the water. I won a 
veterans' swimming race in Essex, and on the follow- 
ing day went to sea in an open boat. 

It has been suggested that I may to a certain 
degree have inherited my love for, and ease in, the 
water from my grandfather. Captain Augustus de 
Crespigny was known by the sobriquet of " the 
Newfoundland Dog," owing to the number of lives 
he had saved. In those days they did not give away 
medals for the saving of life in quite the lavish style 
they do now. It was then not only a great but a 
rare distinction to gain the medal of the Royal 
Humane Society. For instance, in one year only 
two men won it, namely, my grandfather and Richard 
de Saumarez. Curiously enough, a de Crespigny and 
a de Saumarez were awarded the medal at a much 
later period. De Saumarez, it should be added, got 
also the Albert Medal. He effected a rescue in the 
Canton river in the face of great danger, there being 
sharks all around him as he swam. 

On one occasion Augustus de Crespigny's enterprise 
in saving life at sea won him the generous admira- 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 209 

tion of the Commander of the French Fleet, engaged 
with our own at the time of an action of! Cadiz, in 
the year 1810. Augustus went to the rescue of five 
men, who were in imminent danger of being drowned 
owing to the sinking of the Achilles' barge. To ac- 
complish his purpose the rescuer had to pull under 
the very muzzles of the enemy's guns. The French 
Commander happened to be an eye-witness of the 
incident, and was so pleased with the conduct of my 
ancestor that he at once bade his men desist from 
firing. 

To the luxury and ease of the orthodox style of 
yachting I never could take very kindly, though 
from time to time a little of it has come my way. 
As practised at the present day it is altogether too 
destitute of adventuresomeness. Everything is done 
for one by the crew, and as a consequence it tends 
to inaction and inglorious ease. But going to sea 
in an open boat, or even cruising about in a small 
yacht, and doing the major portion of the navigation 
with one's own hands and head, is a vastly different 
matter. For the former I have always had a distinct 
taste, which was not even cured by an adventure 
in 1889. I had been out in a small boat from Ports- 
mouth on that day with my wife and a friend. As 
the afternoon advanced and it came on to blow, I 
put in and landed them at Langston Harbour, and 
then put out to sea again, intending to get into 
Portsmouth that evening. But it came on very 
choppy, and as a result I spent the whole of the night 
tacking about Spithead, with a dinghy in tow, which 
greatly increased my difficulties. Of all forsaken 
places, Spithead at night to a man in an open boat, 

14 



210 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

very hungry, and with nothing but a bit of brown 
bread to munch, is about the worst. I finally an- 
chored of! the New Pier at daybreak. 

In June 1889 I procured a ship's gig, made her 
more or less seaworthy, and set out from Heybridge 
with a man-servant — who was much more at home 
with a horse than in a boat — as crew. I managed 
the navigation myself, and before Westgate was 
reached, we had gone through a series of interesting 
adventures. We ran ashore four times, carrying 
away bowsprit, after-shrouds, main and top-sail 
sheets, and splitting the mainsail. The 28-footer, 
however, which was named the Star, held out gal- 
lantly, and after putting out my man, to his obvious 
relief, at Westgate, and having the Star repaired by 
a coastguardsman, I again went on my watery way 
rejoicing, and bound for Portsmouth. I was out 
by night as well as day, and before reaching her 
destination the poor Star was little better than a 
wreck. At Shoreham my wife came aboard, and 
went on with me to Portsmouth, though the accom- 
modation on the boat was not very tempting for 
ladies. 

Another time my son and I successfully crossed 
the Channel from Folkestone to Boulogne in half a 
gale in a small boat, though it seemed once or twice 
as though we must get capsized. My father, by the 
way, made rather a famous passage across the 
Atlantic in a yacht of ninety tons, called the Kate. 
He was in the company of Sir S. Clarke, and the trip 
was talked and written of a good deal, because the 
Kate was the smallest yacht which had up to that 
time crossed the Atlantic. The Kate still exists, and 



A TRIP TO FLORIDA 211 

is worked at the present time as a fruit-vessel — 
rather a come-down. 

At one time during the Star trip I came to the 
conclusion, knowing the coast pretty well, that we 
must be hard by the Reculvers, where there are some 
rocks, so trusted my man with the helm, telling him 
to steer whilst I examined the chart. It was night- 
time, and the work of examining the chart was not 
easy. After a few minutes' searching I became 
aware that we were boxing the compass, so wild was 
the steering. I then saw that it was perfectly hope- 
less leaving my companion to the helm even for the 
shortest time, and resumed it myself, remarking 
cheerfully, " Well, we'll chance it : I can swim all 
right myself." We escaped the rocks, perhaps 
more by good luck than good judgment. My com- 
panion, when safely ashore, let it be understood that 
he was very glad he had been once to sea in an open 
boat, as it was a thing to have done, but vowed 
that he had no intention of ever trying it again. Con- 
sidering that he could not swim a stroke, and that 
on the first day we began by splitting our mainsail, 
it was not altogether to be wondered at that he 
resolved in future to stick to terra firma. Had he 
accompanied me the whole way to Southsea, the 
last state of that man would probably have been 
worse than the first. 

After leaving Ramsgate at three in the morning, 
I was for twenty hours at the helm. At length, at 
Eastbourne, sleep claimed me for its own, and I 
dozed off, but woke presently to find myself half 
overboard. 

A rather eventful trip was that in a little half- 



212 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

decked craft called the B'nita, which a friend was so 
good as to lend. My companion in this case was, 
however, a man who well understood navigation, 
so that the entire burden did not fall On my own 
shoulders. We set sail from Southampton in the 
middle of May 1890, our destination being Plymouth. 
Starting at about ten a.m. we were caught in a storm 
of wind and furious rain in the afternoon, and had 
to put into Christchurch as best we could at five 
o'clock. It blew W.S.W. so hard next day that it 
was not possible to leave till the morning after. It 
was blowing very hard again when we reached St. 
Albans Head, where we had to drift through stern 
foremost. Ultimately we got into a harbour, which 
neither of us could at first recognize. It turned out 
to be Torbay. 

The wind, which was blowing quite a hurricane 
in the night, played havoc with the little craft. By 
1.30 a.m. it had carried away bowsprit and top-mast. 
I was lying down asleep for awhile when this wreck- 
age was going on, but was roughly awakened by a 
broken spar, which threatened to knock a hole in 
the boat. We then had to clear away the ruined 
gear and get inside the breakwater. But this was 
about the toughest, and not the least risky, job of 
the kind which I have ever experienced in a small 
boat. After a struggle, however, we managed to 
get inside, and were then all right. It had taken 
about three-quarters of an hour to get a matter of 
two hundred yards, or thereabouts, so strong was 
the wind. Shortly after daylight we were at length 
able to land. The poor B'nita looked a perfect wreck — 
so much so that it is questionable whether her owner 



A TKIP TO FLORIDA 213 

would have recognized her in her sad plight. We 
waited next day for a new bowsprit, and for the 
wind to moderate. Starting from Torbay at 10.20 
a.m. on May 22, the seventh day after leaving South- 
ampton, we arrived at Keyham, and made fast to 
a buoy by nine o'clock that night, and anchored at 
the Catwater on the 23rd. Early in June I returned 
to Devonshire, and brought the B'nita to Cowes. 
The passage back was accomplished without any 
adventure or incident of particular interest. 



CHAPTER VIII 

TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 

In July 1889 I started for Egypt as a volunteer to 
join General Sir F. Grenfell, a fellow-officer in the 
GOth Rifles in India. An engagement had already 
taken place between the British troops under Colonel 
Wodehouse and a Dervish force at Argain. The 
latter were defeated and driven to the hills, but not 
without some severe fighting, as the total loss of 
British troops showed — no less than six hundred and 
seventy being on the list of killed and wounded. 
The Dervishes continued hostilities from their moun- 
tain fortresses, and it was accordingly decided to 
send out reinforcements under Sir F. Grenfell. The 
opportunity for volunteering seemed a really promis- 
ing one, so on July 11 I hurried up to town, took 
my ticket for Egypt, got together with all despatch 
a small kit, and started for the East on the following 
morning. There was not an hour to be lost, if one 
was to make sure of getting to the front whilst 
hostilities were still going on. Brindisi was reached 
on July 14, and left at midnight on the same day. 
Just outside Brindisi the train caught fire, and we 
all but missed the steamer. The mail indeed passed 
us as we were engaged in putting out the flames. 
Curiously enough, a few days afterwards we were in 

214 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 215 

another fire outside Assouan : some cocoanut matting 
for camels got ablaze and burnt with great rapidity. 
On the 18th we arrived at Ismailia on board the 
P. and 0. steamship Peninsular, and a special train 
conveyed us thence to Cairo. Here I stopped the 
night at General Sir J. Dormer's, dining with General 
de Montmorency, who was preparing to join Grenfell 
at Assouan in the course of the next few days. The 
General entertained us at the Khedival Sporting 
Club, the menu of which was irreproachable. The 
dinner was an al fresco one, and a more enjoyable 
evening can scarcely be imagined. We sat drinking 
our cofiee and smoking our cigarettes in the midst 
of most charming scenery. I left Cairo on July 19, 
in the company of Hickman of the 19th Regiment, 
who was attached to the Egyptian army, and reaching 
Assiot, embarked on board the Tanjore. We passed 
Mensheyah, Keneh, and other ports where there 
were troops ready for action, and arrived at Assouan 
on the 23rd. After dinner that evening with the 
Egyptian mess, I saw Grenfell, who accorded me a 
hearty welcome. 

It was when we were bathing next day in the Nile 
that my desire to get to the front and see active 
service in some capacity or other was broached. To 
my chagrin the Sirdar pointed out that it was im- 
possible for him to allow any one not attached to 
the Army of Occupation to do this. " The only way,'^ 
said he, " you can accomplish your ambition is to 
get some English newspaper to appoint you its 
special correspondent." The Toski affair was so 
sudden and so soon over, that none of the great dailies 
— though there was time and to spare — sent out a 



216 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

representative. Now " the Shifter " had actually- 
asked me to send to his paper any items of interest 
from the scene of action, so playing my last card I 
said to Grenfell, " I am war correspondent of the 
Pink'un." He could not help laughing at this, but 
thought, with due respect to the paper in question, 
that such a qualification could scarcely be allowed 
to pass muster. What was to be done ? Happy 
thought ! Wire to Lady de Crespigny and get her 
to find me an appointment. Pending a reply, the 
only thing to do was to fret in inaction at Assouan, 
and, what was worse, to see Grenfell of! on July 29 
from Shellal, beyond which point it was not permis- 
sible to advance. " I think Njumi," said Grenfell as 
he departed, " is in a hurry to get to Paradise, and 
that we can accommodate him." It was pretty clear 
indeed to most of us that Njumi was playing a very 
risky game, and one likely to get him into an awk- 
ward fix. He would have been wiser to have taken 
up a position at Abou Simbel, where he might have 
given the Sirdar a good deal more trouble. 

All this while the heat was frightful. I can stand 
a fair amount of roasting myself, but had to admit 
that Assouan was the vilest spot I had ever been in. 
There were no Eastern appliances for keeping one- 
self cool. The one cooling thing was to lie down 
in the muddy old Nile, which was not even fringed 
at Assouan with bulrushes. Whilst waiting at 
Assouan we heard that our troops had captured 
Njumi's head doctor. This man's methods were 
simplicity itself, his rule being kill or cure. The 
doctor's stock-in-trade consisted of a barrel of oil 
and a long knife. If the former failed to cure the 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 217 

sick he cut their throats with the latter, and so pre- 
vented the hospitals becoming too crowded. 

I filled in the time after seeing Grenfell ofi, and 
whilst waitmg a reply from Lady de Crespigny, by 
a trip or two up the river in the steamers Okmeh and 
Amkeh, and by accompanying some of the troops 
who had not yet pushed on. All the Mounted 
Infantry were still at Assouan at the commencement 
of August, together with some of the cavalry and 
two companies of the Welsh regiment. A ride down 
the Nile to meet the infantry was rather a pleasant 
manner of passing away the time. Skirting the 
river, we had to pick our way rather carefully under 
the date-trees, amongst the innumerable native 
huts and wells, but were able to return at a swinging 
canter along the cultivated land on the edge of 
the desert, with the irrigation ditches for obstacles. 
Right cleverly the little Arab horses negotiated 
these ditches. You might almost have imagined 
yourself at times schooling on Epsom Downs ! 

On other days the cataract was ascended in the 
two vessels referred to. The OmJceh got through 
without a mishap, but the Amkeh was not so fortu- 
nate. She struck the rocks several times, and must 
have filled a good percentage of her twenty-four 
compartments. As one steams, the distance from 
Assouan to Philse is seven miles, the rise being seven- 
teen feet. A stern-wheeler is capable of making 
fair headway except up the narrow gut of the rapid, 
which is 250 yards long. To pass this we required 
some hundreds of Egyptian soldiers on our bow- 
rope, and as many Berberines under the sheik of the 
cataract on our four guy-ropes. On the second day 



218 FOKTY YEAES OF A SPOKTSMAN^S LIFE 

the bow-hawser and a wire guy-rope suddenly snapped 
simultaneously, and at a critical moment. We looked 
perilously like getting broadside on and capsizing, 
after the fashion of the ill-fated gunboat Kirhacan. 
That vessel, it may recollected, was raised at a cost 
of some thousands, and then sold to Messrs. Cook 
for £100. We eventually got out of our difficulties, 
and passed the rapids, to the astonishment appar- 
ently of the natives, who cheered loudly. 

These rapids have long borne amongst English- 
men an evil reputation for danger. It was during 
our trip on the Amkeh, and whilst waiting for a 
native boat to get out of the way, that I landed and 
ran up the side of the rapid with the determination 
to test the matter on my own account. The ques- 
tion of whether or no it was possible to dive into the 
rapids, swim down the narrow gut, and land without 
assistance, had already been discussed between 
myself and several of the officers. It was asserted 
that only one Englishman, or more properly Scotch- 
man, namely, Montgomery, E.N., the boxer, had 
ever made the attempt, and that he had not actually 
swum the narrowest part of the gut, but had put 
his swimming powers to the test further down the 
rapids ; nor did the natives in my presence, not- 
withstanding their fine swimming powers, ever dive 
in and swim down at this particular point. But I 
resolved to make the attempt, so dived in and swam 
down the narrow gut to within a few yards of the 
exit. Then having gone far enough to convince 
myself and others that the thing was quite practic- 
able, it only remained to get into one of the eddies 
at the side, and so into the quiet water, where a 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 219 

landing was ejected with ease. The rush of the 
water in the narrow gut is tremendous, but it is not 
broken, as, for instance, below the Niagara Falls ; and 
the one thing necessary was to keep oneself afloat, 
and to nicely calculate the force of the stream so as 
to be able to get into the quiet water. I was in 
excellent condition at the time, and therefore felt 
absolutely no fatigue, and after landing walked back 
to the boat. 

The chief danger incurred by a strong swimmer 
in these Nile rapids is that of being, through an evil 
chance, drawn into a whirlpool before he can get a 
full breath. Personally, I have swum in almost all 
parts of the world, and in every variety of water, and 
don't think the Nile is so particularly dangerous, 
although the natives have an idea that if a man once 
dives down he can never come up again alive. As 
for the crocodile danger it is nil, at any rate at this 
point of the river. Besides, crocodiles are like bears 
— they much prefer clearing out of a man's way to 
attacking him. They invariably do so on land, and, 
I believe, statements notwithstanding to the con- 
trary, that their behaviour is much the same in the 
water. Sharks, too, often act in a similar manner. 
When stationed at Barbadoes we used to bathe 
on one side of the bay in perfect safety, though 
it would have been great folly to bathe on the 
other, because there the sharks fed on the offal 
from the slaughterhouse, and were ravenous for 
blood. 

The Nile incident was talked about a great deal 
at the time, and, so far as I know to the contrary, 
it has never been repeated. But I achieved a more 



220 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

difficult, though perhaps a less sensational, bit of 
swimming once at Portland. 

There is a beach there called the Chesil, on which 
the surf beats with great force. So furious, when 
there is a sea on, is the suction of the retreating waves, 
which tear down with them the beach, that it has 
usually been considered quite impossible for even 
the strongest swimmer to effect a landing. When 
it was known that I had resolved to essay the task, 
a boat was in readiness to effect a rescue if necessary. 
A tripper had got into trouble at the Chesil only the 
day before, and it was therefore deemed wise to 
take precautions. I went out through the waves, 
and then in coming back hovered as it were pretty 
close to the shingle, waiting for a small wave to get 
in with. A few short, quick strokes brought me 
in with the fifth or sixth wave — a small one — and I 
succeeded in running up on to the beach, although 
the shingle rolled away a good deal from under my 
feet. The use of the head and the feet was more 
necessary than that of the arms. During heavy 
storms the strength of the waves at this place is 
prodigious ; and tradition has it that a ship was once 
swept clean over the Chesil Beach and into the Bay. 

A good many people, having heard — often through 
unreliable sources — of these and other adventures, 
have chosen to set me down as either a man quite 
reckless of life and limb, or an advertiser on a big 
scale. To have won, even without meriting it, either 
of these reputations is scarcely a matter to be " wept 
with tears of blood.'" There is at least nothing dis- 
honourable in holding one's life cheap, however 
small the stake played for ; whilst in an age of self- 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 221 

advertisement some tolerance ought to be extended 
to one who makes himself known by courting danger 
whether in earth, sea, or sky. As a matter of fact, 
I cannot lay claim to either distinction, having never 
actually courted danger for its own sweet sake ; and 
never risked my life and limb for the paltry pur- 
pose of self-advertisement. However, there is a 
wide difference between risking your life through 
pure ignorance of its value, and shunning danger 
when by so doing you must soil the escutcheon of 
bravery, which should be the most precious posses- 
sion of every good Englishman. Indifference to 
danger in a good cause, and especially where a man's 
honour is at stake, is absolutely essential. Could 
our ancestors, the makers of England, had they not 
been actuated by some such principle as this, have 
put together this great Empire ? Surely never ! 

This may seem no more than a truism, save perhaps 
to that miserable party of men known as the " little 
Englanders." For myself, I must go further, and 
declare that it is necessary, unless we are to perish 
like the Romans in the lap of peace and luxury, that 
some of us should strive to keep alive the reputation 
which Englishmen have always had of greatly daring 
and suffering all things. Surely where there is a 
daring deed to be done in any part of the world, 
an Englishman should leap to the front to accom- 
plish it. 

It needs but little reading between the lines to 
discover a sentiment similar to this running through 
much of the best patriotic literature of our country, 
and through almost every page of our history. Deeds 
of daring strewn so plentifully through the story of 



222 FOKTY YEAES OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

England impart to it an imperishable glamour. 
The heroic exploits of Richard the Lion-hearted must 
appeal to young hearts for ever, as must the courage 
of Falkland and many another great Englishman on 
the field of battle. Even from those who swear by 
Cromwell, and condemn the Stuarts and all their 
ways, the despairing courage of the Cavaliers and of 
the Jacobites may almost draw a tear. The charge 
of the Light Brigade down the North Valley, was it 
wild and useless ? Yes, it may have been, but no 
brighter gem sparkles in the crown of the nation. 

Swimming and riding were all very well in their 
way, but it was not exactly for these pursuits that I 
had come out to Egypt. It was therefore a cause 
for rejoicing when the message came from my wife 
that I was appointed to act as Special Correspondent 
of the East Anglian Daily Times. We had already 
heard various rumours concerning Njumi and his 
movements. One was to the effect that his health 
was good, and that he was still advancing ; whilst 
another asserted that he was badly diseased, and 
had to be carted about in a barrel of butter — an awk- 
ward position for the leader of a Dervish raid. It 
would now be possible to get to the front, and find 
out the true state of things. 

So at length, after more than a week's anxious 
waiting, I was able to tell De Montmorency of my 
appointment, and on Saturday, August 3, to wire to 
Grenfell to the same effect ; and then to start up 
the Nile in a felucca from Shellal, which was reached 
from Assouan by train. We reached Abuhor, a 
distance of forty-eight miles, on the first day ; Kos- 
tambe, a distance of sixty-three, on the second ; and 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 223 

Tabbel, eighty-eight miles, on the third, which was 
Bank Holiday. Before this a hitch had occurred. 
The crew got fairly beaten owing to the amount of 
work they had to do when the wind dropped. What 
was to be done ? The captain and owner of the 
felucca recommended that the sheik of a village we 
had reached should be asked to supply men to tow 
us up to the next village. The sheik was approached, 
and declined, saying he had no spare men. For- 
tunately I was armed with a Colt's revolver, and I 
asked, *' Shall I shoot the fellow if he persists in his 
present attitude ? " The reply was prompt and 
decisive, " Certainly, shoot him.'' The rascally 
sheik was informed of my intention to shoot him for 
insubordination if he did not instantly alter his 
tactics. In a moment his demeanour underwent an 
entire change. Nothing could exceed his desire to 
oblige in every respect, and accommodate himself 
to my requirements. After the revolver argument 
had entered into the controversy there were any 
number of men at every village ready to tow us along 
where a fair wind was lacking. As a result we 
actually kept for awhile well ahead of the Army of 
Occupation, which was advancing in steamers under 
De Montmorency. 

On my way up the Nile I seriously considered 
whether it might not prove of real assistance to Gren- 
fell to cut the telegraph wires. It was the recollection 
of the way in which Sir Evelyn Wood had been 
hampered and harassed in Africa by the Govern- 
ment a few years before, that made me think about 
this ; but going into the matter, it occurred to me 
that in the case of Sir Evelyn Wood, Mr. Gladstone 



224 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

held the reins ; whilst Lord Salisbury was now in 
power, and not very likely to repeat the blunder of 
his predecessors. Had Mr. Gladstone been in power 
I should most certainly have set to work to cut 
the wires, and burn down the telegraph-posts. My 
crew no doubt would have rendered all the necessary 
assistance. 

When off Maharakka, on the evening of August 5, 
I observed, first to my astonishment and then to my 
intense vexation, a flotilla consisting of steamers, 
barges, and a dahabeah, flying the white flag with 
the red cross coming down stream. It must mean 
this, that it was all over " bar shouting " with the 
Dervish raid and Njumi. The ill fortune, which 
had on several occasions pursued me when intent 
on seeing some active service, once more dogged my 
footsteps, despite the fine opportunity that had at 
length apparently presented itself. We were hugging 
the east shore at the time this flotilla came in un- 
welcome sight. The boats were well in the current 
on the other side of the river, and as the Nile is not 
exactly a trout stream, there were no means of com- 
municating with them. Clinging to the vain hope 
that my apprehensions might be wrong, I carried on 
towards Korosko, resolving to try and gain some 
reliable information on the way. A few miles from 
Samooah we stopped at a small village where there 
was an Egyptian officer and man. As most of the 
Egyptian officers speak either English or French, I 
looked to this one for information. To my surprise, 
however, it was not the officer, but the man, who 
was able to reply in somewhat broken French to my 
inquiries. We learnt from him that Njumi's force 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 225 

had been completely routed at Toski. Later on 
further tidings came to hand, which told how Njumi 
himself had been killed, together with fifteen Emirs 
and fifteen hundred men, at the loss of a very few 
of our troops. There were probably amongst those 
who fell or fled at Toski not a few fighting Dervishes, 
such as broke into our squares a few years previously. 
The genuine Dervish was an extraordinary specimen 
of humanity. He and even his camp-followers were 
utterly callous of pain, and laughed at amputations. 
A stranger told us of two incidents which came under 
his personal observation in relation to these folk, 
men and women. He was ready to swear that he 
had one day found in a palm-tree a man whose leg 
he had amputated twenty-four hours before, and 
that he had seen a woman grinding corn the day 
subsequent to his having taken off one of her legs 
at the thigh and one of her arms above the elbow ! 
He succeeded in telUng these tales without a smile. 

The fun being all over, we turned back after three 
days' real hard work in striving to keep ahead of De 
Montmorency's troops. A large percentage of head 
and light winds are but poor allies in the business 
of overcoming a rising Nile with constant rapids. 
At eight o'clock in the evening, with a good moon, 
I resolved to head for Assouan, though expecting 
remonstrances from my boatmen. It turned out, 
however, that they were one and all only too anxious 
to get back again to their wives and homes. On 
we went at once. The men rowed vigorously — with 
such oars too ! — through the night, singing after 
their quaint fashion. I had lately been enjoying the 
melody of such artistes as Battistini, Nevada, and 

15 



226 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Regina Paccini, so that the Arabic boat-song palled 
a, trifle after a while, but in its way it was not devoid 
of a certain beauty. It took twenty-four hours to 
do the eighty-two miles to Shellal, notwithstanding 
the current and rapids in our favour. We were 
caught in a vicious little squall in the " Gates of 
Kaldbsheh," and very nearly capsized. This was the 
only incident of much note during the homeward 
journey. I had one most narrow shave, which made 
my blood run cold when I thought of it for a long 
time afterwards. On the look-out in the night for 
game of any sort along the banks of the river, I 
barely escaped putting a bullet into the head of a 
camel which suddenly appeared behind a jackal that 
ofiered a tempting shot on the skyline. It might 
have been hard to live down the ridicule sure to be 
attached to any one for shooting one of these long- 
suffering and very non-combatant beasts of burden. 

In the Nile, some miles above Shellal, poor Major 
Turnbull lost his life. He fell overboard at night, 
and must have been taken under by a whirlpool just 
after he had called to his companions in the daha- 
beah that he was all right. Early on the morning of 
August 7 we shot the cataracts in the felucca in com- 
pany with Chaplain-General Collins ; recovered the 
body of Turnbull terribly disfigured, and buried it 
with all military honours at Assouan. The body was 
in the shallows, where I had foretold it would be 
found. It was discovered by his company dog, who, 
with an intelligence rather above that of an average 
human being, induced some of the men to accompany 
him back to the spot where the officer was lying. 

The Egyptian question has been discussed a great 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 227 

deal of late. This is scarcely the place to deal with 
such a matter, but I cannot help remarking that my 
experience of the country and its inhabitants has led 
me to form a strong opinion against evacuation. 
The Egyptians are utterly incapable of self-govern- 
ment, and if left to themselves they would speedily 
slip back again into all the old evils of bribery and 
corruption, which appear to be inherent in nations 
under Mussulman rule. 

On August 12 I embarked at Alexandria on board 
the Cathay, and was at Brindisi on the 15th. Here 
I wired to Don Carlos to expect me in Venice in a 
couple of days, and upon arrival there found a beau- 
tiful gondola waiting to take me to his residence, 
the Palazzo Loredan. The Palazzo, where Don 
Carlos resided, is finely situated, with extensive 
views of the Grand Canal ; and it contains, amongst 
other interesting things, one of the most perfect 
private armouries in Europe. I was able to add to 
it on the occasion of my visit in the shape of a Colt's 
revolver — the very one which had brought the un- 
ruly sheik to his senses — and a Dervish sword. 

There was only the afternoon and evening to spend 
at Venice ; but I was not at all averse to my host's 
agreeable proposition that we should bathe. At Lido 
we swam about for a good while near the shore, when 
suddenly Don Carlos exclaimed, " Now we will go 
for a swim," and struck out as if with the intention 
of crossing the Adriatic to Fiume. This was rather 
more than I bargained for, as I was getting very cold, 
and not unnaturally so after the grilling in Egypt. 
After a time, however, my host thoughtfully asked 
me whether I felt at all cold, and upon my replying 



228 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

in the affirmative, somewhat to my relief instantly 
turned towards the shore. Venice was left shortly 
before midnight, and London reached on the evening 
of August 19. 

After my return from Egypt I contented myself 
with hunting and shooting, taking part in no steeple- 
chasing whatever in the autumn and winter of 1889. 
In the first few months of 1890 I addressed myself 
to hunting, chiefly in the New Forest, and in the 
spring and early summer to cruising about the coast 
in a small boat. 

It does not often fall to one's lot to get through 

a *' mill " in the midst of a run. But this rather novel 

experience did once fall to my lot when out cubbing 

with the East Essex. The hounds were running, 

when I rode up to a gate, on the other side of which 

were a ploughman and two men in a cart, one of 

whom was a renowned local " bruiser." I remarked 

to the ploughman that he might have opened the 

gate seeing the hounds running, and the others took 

this in ill part. A volley of oaths told me that one 

of them was more than my match in blasphemy, 

so I made no further comment, and intended to pass 

on without more ado. However, to my surprise the 

man got out of the cart in no time, and expressed 

a desire to kick me. I dismounted of course, and 

prepared to do battle. He was a huge fellow, fully 

six feet in height, proportionately broad, and on the 

upper ground. Retreat, however, was out of the 

question, and it only remained to make the best of 

what looked like rather a bad bargain, more especially 

as my right arm had not recovered from a compound 

fracture. We went for one another hammer and 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 229 

tongs, and at the onset my antagonist got rather 
the best of it. After the first burst we stopped in- 
stinctively for a moment or two, glaring at each other 
in the way men do under such circumstances. In 
that brief interim I saw that his great flanks were 
heaving. " ho, my friend," thought I, " at any 
rate I'm more than your match so far as condition 
is concerned." Almost directly afterwards I landed 
him one on " the point," and the contest was over. 
He never showed fight after that, nor did his com- 
panion, who was invited to come down and try his 
fortune. " What's good enough for my friend," he 
remarked, " will do for me." Several members of 
the hunt had come up whilst we were at it and formed 
a ring. The fight over, we mounted and were able 
to rejoin the hounds, which were still running. I 
cannot recollect whether or no we killed our fox. 

Later on in July, I took the B'nita from Hyde to 
Folkestone, and then crossed the Channel to Boulogne. 
The trip took four days. It was not so eventful as 
one or two other excursions of the kind which I have 
made in small boats in the open sea ; but it may 
be not without interest, in case others should desire 
to make the same trip in fine weather, to give the 
time of starting, and the number of miles covered 
each day. On the first day we sailed at 1.35 p.m. 
and arrived at Selsea Bill at 7.50 p.m., a distance 
of fourteen miles ; on the second day Selsea was 
left at 4.40 a.m. and Brighton reached at 8.20 p.m. — 
distance twenty-three miles ; on the third day we 
left Brighton at 3.35 a.m. and reached Folkestone 
4.30 p.m., a distance of fifty-seven miles. Folkestone 
was left at 4.10 p.m. on the fourth and last day, and 



230 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Boulogne reached at 10 o'clock that night — distance 
twenty-five miles. Thus, the total number of miles 
being one hundred and nineteen, the average a day 
was just under thirty. 

I was a good deal in Boulogne in July and August 
of this year, and did some pigeon-shooting, though 
the sport was not worthy of much notice. One 
day, being in form, I managed to knock my com- 
petitors, who were Frenchmen, one and all well 
out of it. Thereat arose a good deal of soreness and 
grumbling, which was only stopped by some one 
explaining, " Oh, but de Crespigny is one of our- 
selves. His name should tell you that." 

The year 1891 was an uneventful year so far as 
steeplechasing was concerned, but next year it was 
possible to settle down once more with a will to 
cross-country sport. On March 24 I found myself 
again on the steeplechase course that ought to be 
at least as familiar to me as any in the country — 
Chelmsford. It is not easy to say how many times 
I have ridden there, but I know that twenty years 
ago my total was sixteen, covering about forty miles. 
The calculation was then made for the purpose of 
showing that steeplechasing was not nearly so dan- 
gerous a pursuit — so far as fatal accidents went — as 
many seemed to imagine. In those sixteen steeple- 
chases I fell only twice, and was in neither instance 
considerably hurt. At the same time it has happened 
that my worst tumbles have been on courses other 
than Chelmsford, such as Lingfield and Hurst Park. 

Correze has turned out the best horse I have ever 
had the fortune to own and train in England. We 
bred him ourselves out of Wild Georgie by Young 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 231 

Citadel, and he was the mare^s second foal. Wild 
Georgie was originally bought to ride as a Yeomanry 
charger ; and her pedigree has already been touched 
upon. Young Citadel (1872) was a direct descendant 
of Brutandorf, and a writer commenting on this has 
remarked, " There are very few, if any, horses now at 
the stud representing this line ; and so good-looking 
is Correze that he will be valuable for transmitting 
it, and so reviving an almost extinct but very valuable 
branch of the Blacklock family." Young Citadel was 
by Lambton, son of The Cure, son of The Physician, 
son of Brutandorf. We first made up our minds 
that Correze was really useful when he won a four- 
mile trial at Captain Aiken's, where he easily knocked 
out Profit, a horse that went the first two miles with 
him — and also The Sikh. The latter would have 
been my mount at Liverpool, had he not unhappily 
broken a blood-vessel in that trial. 

Correze came out as a good horse rather slowly ; 
at least he did nothing very much in his first few 
races, though not always very lucky. On April 18 
I got a nasty fall with him on the course outside the 
Cavalry Barracks at Colchester. He crossed his legs 
after landing over the brook, came down, and gave 
me concussion of the brain. As I was carried past 
my second son, a yokel remarked, " Wonder whether 
he's gone to 'eaven." In about twenty minutes I 
came round, not much the worse for the toss. Two 
days afterwards, April 20, was my forty-fifth birth- 
day. It is pleasant to win a race on one's birthday 
if it can be managed. It was managed on that day, 
for going down to Woodbridge, I won the Orwell 
Hurdle Kace by three lengths on Marcus Beresford's, 



232 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

afterwards Lord Decies' Amber, riding of course as 
one naturally does on another man's horse — unless 
told to make your own pace — to orders. Gondola 
was second ; Topper third. In the following year, 
too, I won a race on my forty-sixth birthday. 

From Woodbridge it is not a far cry to Ipswich, 
where there was some steeplechasing two days later. 
I did not excel there, but was more in luck at 
Chelmsford, on the 28th winning the Selling Steeple- 
chase on Mr. Ditton's Old Ben, beating the favourite 
— Major Peter's Barbiana, who was ridden by Mr. 
Cheney — by a length or so. 

In the winter of 1892 Correze was not a very good 
second in the Essex Open Steeplechase at Chelmsford 
on Nov. 30, Mr. Clayton's Grab All, the favourite, 
who was then in good form, being too much for him. 
Correze indeed was not at all fancied, and started a 
rank outsider. At Bury, a week later, in the Suffolk 
County Steeplechase, Correze was going strong, and 
seemed a winner all over, when, three fences from 
home, Fugleman, whom I struck into, crossed, and 
this brought us down. Next time I rode the horse 
was at Hurst Park on Dec. 10, starting as outsider 
in a field of five, and getting second to Sensier, who 
won on Mr. Ryall's Kynaston. This was over a 
three-mile course, as was also the Essex Open Steeple- 
chase. Correze has always been rather a stayer than 
a speedy horse, and does not run up to his form over 
short courses such as two miles. 

In the early part of 1893 it fell to my lot to get 
knocked about a good deal on one or two courses, 
but I was able fortunately to soon shake of! the 
effects of my falls, and to enjoy a good deal of sport. 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 233 

January 21, 1893, was a day miicli more fitted 
for skating than riding across country. Indeed 
skating was actually going on within a stone's throw 
of the course at Lingfield, where we were steeple- 
chasing. I received what at the time looked like a 
very ugly fall. 

When my horse fell there was another close at his 
heels, but knowing the man for whom I was riding 
believed my mount ought easily to win, I took no 
heed of this in my anxiety to be up and doing again. 
So I rose at once, and as I did so the off fore plate 
of the horse behind struck me a heavy blow just over 
the eye. I was of course insensible for a while, 
but came to before the stretcher was brought, and 
was led away between two friends, one of whom, 
by the way, was relieved of his note-book by a 
member of the light-fingered fraternity as he leant 
over me. A policeman on this occasion offered 
to try his surgical skill on me, but I flatly 
refused to submit myself to his tender mercies. 
Ultimately they plastered me up, and, when I 
arrived home, my own doctor bandaged and sewed 
me up properly with cat-gut. 

Three or four days later I was out and engaged 
in rolling my cricket-ground, which, by the way, 
is an excellent way of keeping oneself in con- 
dition. I followed this up with a Turkish bath, and 
the day after was, though still in bandages, quite 
fit to ride Correze and Birdseye at Hurst Park. But 
I did nothing, as the former fell in one race at the 
ditch, and made such a hole in the fence that my 
old friend. Sir Matthew Wood, the then Secretary, 
threatened to send me in a bill for damages ; whilst 



234 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

the latter only managed to come in fourth in an open 
selling race. 

Though now and again I have had a little brush 
not of a particularly unfriendly character with 
sporting writers, I have to gratefully acknowledge 
that the sporting press has, on the whole, always 
dealt by me in a very kind manner. There were 
some allusions to this accident at Lingfield, one of 
which may be reproduced : — "Neither broken bones, 
concussion of the brain, nor a severed artery can 
take the gameness out of Sir Claude de Crespigny. 
What with his ballooning, his boxing, his racing, 
and his other lively pursuits. Sir Claude has been 
knocked about as much as most people. Last Sat- 
urday, whilst riding in a steeplechase at Lingfield, 
his horse fell, and he was kicked on the head by 
another animal, sustaining concussion of the brain 
and a severed artery. He was carried home, and 
his wounds were found to be of so severe a character 
that they had to be sewn up. In less than twenty- 
four hours, however, Sir Claude was writing to the 
editor, saying that he was doing well and hoped to 
be in the saddle again before long.'' The letter 
referred to was the following : — 

" Turkish Bath, Northumberland Avenue, 
Jan. 25, 1893. 

" Dear Sir, 

" My daughter, who has just started for Exeter, 
has handed me your kind letter. Yesterday my M.D. 
considered danger from erysipelas had passed, and 
let me out for an hour (which I took on a stone 
roller on the Champion Hill Cricket Ground). To- 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 235 

day I've had a good spell in the Turkish bath ; to- 
morrow shall go down to the country for a gallop, 
and on Friday hope to sport silk at Hurst Park 
Steeplechases. 

" C. Ch. de Crespigny." 

Aiken and I went down to Warwick on Feb. 6, 
when I rode in the Warwick Handicap Steeplechase, 
starting an outsider on The Sikh. The horse however 
was placed second, though well beaten by Wenty 
Hope Johnstone, whose mount was Mr. Irving's 
Champion, the second favourite. This was described 
as quite an old jockeys' race, for between us and our 
horses it was calculated that our total ages amounted 
to over a hundred years ! 

After this race we tried to get up a match between 
Wenty and myself over a four-mile course at San- 
down, and on the same horses. Wenty was to give 
a stone for the beating. I should have fancied The 
Sikh on these terms, but the match never came off. 

In the seventies the 7th Hussars — the old Regiment 
of both Wenty Hope Johnstone and Billy Morris — 
the 9th Lancers, and the Guards supplied most of 
the soldier jockeys that could hold their own both 
inside and outside the military circle. When River- 
escat won the Grand Military, the 7th had no less 
than five jockeys riding in the race — namely, John 
Drye Barker, Baby M'Calmont, Marcus Beresford, 
Billy Morris, and Wenty Hope Johnstone. This re- 
minds one of Eton pretty well monopolizing one of 
the 'Varsity boats, as she often has done. Probably 
no regiment has ever been quite so strong in jockeys 
as the 7th was at that period. 



236 FOETY YEABS OF A SPORTSMAN'S IJFE 

Billy Morris — known in the 7th as Billy Morgan — 
was, in my opinion, the finest soldier jockey of his 
time, and he could ride under ten stone. He rode 
more than once in the Grand National, and when 
up on Downpatrick was first on the racecourse. Twice 
he won the Grand Military, each time on Chilblain, 
and once the Irish Military on Witch Hazel. Billy 
was immensely popular amongst all racing men, ama- 
teur and professional alike. There is a dark cloud 
about his end, which can now never be thoroughly 
cleared away. It has always been a belief with some 
of us that he was hustled in the hunting-field where 
he came by his death, and left to an untimely end. 
A friend and soldier colleague of his says — " Billy 
was found lying with his collar and shirt undone, 
and his pin stuck in his coat. His neck was broken. 
Hard by, his horse was tied to a paling. How it 
happened, or who saw it, is a tale that has never been 
told. A bold horseman and a good soldier was poor 
Billy Morgan." 

Old Chilblain wound up his career in peace and 
honour at Champion Lodge. He had his horse-box, 
shed, and four acres of paddock, and a companion 
for some time too in the shape of a lamb. This 
animal followed Chilblain as faithfully as that of 
the poet did Mary, and a great affection sprang up 
between the two. Whichever left the box first the 
other immediately followed, and at the same pace. 
The horse and lamb grazed alongside of one another, 
and when the horse lay down, the lamb followed 
suit. They became, in fact, inseparable — a remark- 
able instance of Platonic aiiection between two 
animals. 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 237 

In several instances during the spring of this year 
Corr^ze had bad luck, losing races by little unforeseen 
accidents. Thus on March 3 he was leading in at 
Sandown Park in the National Hunt, when he blun- 
dered at the brook, and went on his head and knees. 
He recovered, but I had to jump the next two fences 
without one of my irons. After the blunder I felt 
the off-leather getting longer and longer, and speedily 
perceiving what had occurred, made a desperate en- 
deavour as we were passing the stand to adjust the 
buckle. This was ultimately done, but not till we 
had passed the stand. Correze made a dash for the 
big gate instead of bearing to the right, and this lost 
so much ground that it was impossible to make it 
up. The winner was Van der Berg, with Cuthbert 
Slade up. Correze had started an outsider ; sub- 
sequently he turned the table on Van der Berg. 

On March 8 we repaired to Gatwick, and I rode 
Correze in the Harkaway Steeplechase, but had to 
put up with a beating from Lily of the Valley, with 
Dollery up. 

In a hurdle race at Windsor on March 13 I came 
down pretty hard with Eobert Dudley. It was a 
case of slight concussion ; but I jumped up, interested 
to see what was winning, and was so stupefied by 
the fall that I found myself looking right in the 
opposite direction to the winning-post. 

The streak of bad luck which pursued me for part 
of this spring season of 1893 was not broken through 
on March 23. At Chelmsford, I went over the Galley- 
wood Course carefully beforehand, and ought to have 
won the Chelmsford Steeplechase. It sometimes 
happens that when a horse has been doing stiff fences, 



238 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

he fails altogether over a much easier country. I 
feared this might happen at Chelmsford, and it did. 
Correze was going well, till he took it into his head 
to hit the rail of the fourth fence, not more than a 
foot above the ground, and came down. It did the 
horse good, and made him careful afterwards. 

The next steeplechase of any note was at Kempton 
early in April, when Correze was second to Abyssinian 
in the Twickenham Steeplechase. That race was lost 
by one of those little chances which rarely get recorded 
in the press reports, because they are not noticed. 
Abyssinian was going very unkindly, and he would 
have certainly gone clean into the middle of the brook, 
if it had not been a mere splash, and have probably 
finished up the race there had I not come up along- 
side, which helped to keep him straight. He then 
got out of his difficulties. Dollery, who was up on 
Abyssinian, saw how well I had served him by 
accident, and said afterwards, *' You gave me that 
race, Sir Claude." 

The same week Correze was tried again at Lingfield, 
but was not placed in the Lingfield Grand National, 
won by Excelsior. He had not fully recovered from 
a slight touch of the influenza, which attacks horses 
sometimes as it does their riders. This race told 
me something, as it enabled me to about gauge 
The Primate's form, which came in useful later in 
the year. 

Bewicke, Dollery, and I rode down to the post just 
before this race, and commenting on Dollery 's success 
in the Grand National on Cloister, Bewicke said, 
*' By the way, I was the first to tell you that you'd 
won that race." " Were you indeed, sir ? " quoth 



TO EGYPT AND BACK AGAIN 239 

Dollery ; " well now, I recollect I did hear somebody 
lialloaing out, and could not think where the sounds 
came from." Bewicke had been shouting out from 
underneath his horse. The Primate, quite forgetful of 
his fall in the excitement of the race. 

At Woodbridge, on April 19, 1893, the ground was 
so hard that for once in a way it was actually neces- 
sary to decline mounts. This was done not so much 
out of regard for my own safety, but for that of two 
horses. Sprig of Myrtle and Robert Dudley, which 
had been brought down for me to ride. They were 
accordingly sent back to Ipswich for the Chases to 
be held there a few days later. 

On April 20 Correze won easily enough in the Open 
Military Steeplechase in the Household Brigade meet- 
ing at Hawthorn Hill. He started favourite — six to 
four on — and was well in, carrying 11 st. 4 lbs. against 
Lord Tullibardine's Mazzard, 13 st. 3 lbs. (ridden by 
owner), and Mr. Tilney's Willoughby, 12 st. 7 lbs., 
ridden by Captain Milner. At the same time, two 
miles was not the proper distance for Correze. He 
has always essentially been a stayer. On March 10 
of the same year, I rode him over a two-mile course 
at Sandown in the Open Handicap Steeplechase, won 
by Tenby. In this race we knocked out a prominent 
G. N. candidate, Sarsfield, who was served up a hot 
favourite, but had apparently lost all form. 

An incident that reminds one rather of the kind 
of judging one looked for in India, when I was steeple- 
chasing and racing there, occurred at Ipswich on 
April 21, 1893. I was riding Robert Dudley for Mr. 
Loftus le Champion. He had backed the horse for 
a small sum for a place, and had been so fortunate 



240 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

as to get a very good price, something like five to 
one. White Heather — owner up — was first ; Candy- 
tuft, second ; and Robert Dudley came in third, 
having fallen at the water jump. He was a hundred 
and fifty yards or thereabouts behind the second 
horse. But the judge left his box, and consequently 
Robert Dudley was not given a place, though he was 
third. I remonstrated, but it was of no avail, and 
Mr. le Champion not only did not receive, but actually 
had to pay ! It was an act of culpable carelessness. 
I went into the judge's box myself after the race, 
and found that one could see easily as far as Nacton 
corner. Now Robert Dudley had passed that point 
long before the winning horse passed the post, so 
there was really no excuse whatever for not awarding 
him the place he had fairly won. It need hardly be 
said that it was merely an act of carelessness on the 
part of the judge, but it was an undeniably gross one. 
A pretty uproar there would have been if the public 
money had been on the horse to any extent. That 
day I was not altogether displeased to see a horse 
disqualified. The owner had asked me to ride for 
him some time previously, but said he could not find 
me. As I had ridden in the previous race, the excuse 
was somewhat lame. The jockey, not having walked 
round the course, missed a fence, and so the good 
thing fell through. 



CHAPTER IX 

MORE SPORT IN SPAIN 

The racing memory, unlike the political, is not by 
any means notorious for its shortness, so that there 
is no need to do anything but skim very lightly over 
the history of steeplechasing during the remainder 
of this and the next two seasons. April 1893 was 
one of the driest on record, and the ground was like 
iron. I took part in no more cross-country sport 
till the autumn, when there fell to my lot a win or 
two in a few events, such as the Army and Navy 
Steeplechase at Hawthorn Hill — Correze's second win 
there — and Dormans Steeplechase at Lingfield. At 
Hawthorn Hill, Correze got the better of Father 
O'Flynn, ridden by Mr. C. Grenfell the owner, and 
of Emin, who started favourite, also ridden by his 
owner, Lord Molyneux. 

The biggest events in steeplechasing, even including 
the Grand National, are, despite the undoubted popu- 
larity of the sport, mere drops in the ocean compared 
with the monster prizes to be won on the flat. My 
own mounts have rarely brought me in anything 
over two figures, so that December 9, 1893, the date 
of the Great Sandown Steeplechase which Correze 
won, was quite a red-letter day in my calendar. Even 
here the stakes are not excessive, but the event is a 

241 16 



242 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

big one in its way, and what was particularly satis- 
factory about the winning of it, from my point of 
view, was the fact that the Prince of Wales, as the 
late King was then, cordially congratulated me on 
my success. His Royal Highness was present at the 
dinner given by the Sports' Club to Lord Dunraven, 
and spoke to me most kindly about the race. It 
was permissible to remind the Prince that I had once 
had the honour of training in his old stable, namely, 
that of Jack Jones. 

The Primate, carrying 12 st. 7 lbs., and ridden by 
Bewicke, started rather a warm favourite. Correze, 
with 10 st. 13 lbs., was backed at nine to two — Fairy 
Queen was second favourite — but I believed him to 
be better than Primate at the weights, as I had had 
some opportunities of judging, and was not much 
surprised, therefore, at the result. Then Primate did 
not behave over well in the race, swerving at the first 
fence, and never jumping too well. Correze, on the 
other hand, jumped well, and stayed well. Before 
the last fence was negotiated, Correze had the favour- 
ite nicely settled, and Fairy Queen being unable to 
stay home in the run in, he won by a couple of lengths. 
Correze, after this, began to be talked of a good deal 
for the Grand National ; but a break-down in training 
later on robbed him of the great chance he would 
otherwise have had in that classic steeplechase. 

Of all the smart steeplechasing performances I 
have ever seen — and their name is legion — not one 
surpasses Bewicke 's in this race. Glancing round, 
one espied Primate down at the fence by the pay- 
gate. He looked to me, in the hasty glance which 
I was able to take, stretched out almost spread-eagle 



MOKE SPORT IN SPAIN 243 

fashion on the ground. Yet the rider never lost his 
seat, and scarcely had the cry of a fall gone forth 
amongst the spectators, than he had Primate up 
again, and was pressing Correze hard, having only 
lost a few lengths by the mishap. It seemed, and it 
actually was, a marvellous achievement of Bewicke's. 
No one with knowledge of steeplechasing, who saw 
the incident, can ever forget it. 

The Sportsman, in commenting on Correze 's win 
in the race, referred to his rider in tones so eulogistic 
that my native modesty quite prevents me repro- 
ducing them here ! But there was one passage in 
the article in question which was so much to the 
point, and so true, that it may be well quoted for the 
guidance of young and ambitious riders ; " His vic- 
tory is, in my humble opinion, a salutary example 
for the younger division who are not unfrequently 
lacking in go. . . . Practical horsemen are well 
aware that race-riding over a country or hurdles is 
impossible except for a man who is thoroughly fit 
and constantly taking riding exercise. But the 
modern Sybarite is far too apt to luxuriate, and try 
to ride at Sandown upon occasions, when, as almost 
invariably happens, he makes a lamentable show, 
and then, forsooth, complains if he is criticized in 
the papers. These gentlemen should understand 
that when they get up to ride at a gate-money meeting 
they olfer their performances as value for the public's 
money, and are therefore most legitimate objects of 
criticism. If they would but make themselves fit 
to ride — if they want to ride — as Sir Claude de 
Crespigny does, we should have a better prospect, 
and be spared that terrible barrenness of soldier riders, 



244 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

which was marked when that good horse Partisan 
could not run at Sandown because there was no 
soldier capable of riding him/' Without going the 
length of this somewhat severe criticism of our 
soldier riders, it may be readily conceded that 
the reference to men who try to ride without 
keeping themselves in the proper condition is quite 
justifiable. 

Throughout the winter season of 1893 and '94, 
there was abundance of riding for me at several 
meetings in the South, such as Hurst Park, Kempton, 
Portsmouth, and Bury St. Edmunds. At the last- 
named I met my old friend the Duke of Hamilton, 
with whom I have in days long past had many a 
pleasant revel, for the last time on or of! a racecourse. 
He gave me a lift in his special. It seems but yester- 
day that I saw his Grace, " the Mate," and C. Blanton 
(their trainer) chatting cheerily on Stockbridge race- 
course. " All, all are gone — the old familiar faces ! " 
" Angus," as he was always called by his intimates, 
was one of the kindest-hearted of men, and his 
loss will be deeply felt round Easton. The cheers 
which invariably went up when the cerise and 
French grey caught the judge's eye in the van 
showed ^how he was appreciated by sport-loving 
Britons. 

A bloodless victory was mine on Badminton at 
Hurst Park on January 3, 1894, when the horse ridden 
by Oates, my single opponent, bolted before the start. 
The brute actually ran four and a half miles before 
the jockey regained control over him, and was then 
totally unfit to do any more racing that day. So 
Badminton was permitted to walk over. 



MORE SPORT IN SPAIN 245 

Perishingly cold, by the way, was that third of 
January. The ground was so hard, moreover, that 
very few jockeys would think of riding. Of course I 
had to wait at the starting-post with Arthur Coventry 
whilst Star in the East went through this performance. 
Before long my hands got so numbed that it was 
difficult to keep hold of the reins. Seeing this, the 
starter, with real good-nature and self-sacrifice, lent 
me his gloves. What sort of weather it was may be 
judged by the fact that on the following morning the 
thermometer showed something like nine degrees 
below zero in an exposed place. 

We were offered seventeen hundred pounds for 
Correze in Feb. 1894, just before his running second 
to Nellie Gray in the Prince of Wales' Steeplechase 
at Sandown. I could not do better in this race than 
leave Van der Berg behind ; but next month Correze 
ran prominently in the Grand International at San- 
down till he pulled up lame after going two miles — a 
great disappointment. 

Early in 1895 the opportunity offered of once more 
turning for sport to Spain. I formed one of a jovial 
little party, and had a great time in the land which, 
though little known to sportsmen, has turned out 
nevertheless a very paradise to the few who have 
been fortunate enough to enjoy shooting and fishing 
over the best preserved ground and water. Some 
letters which were written to a friend from the 
Peninsula, and during our voyage home, will perhaps 
serve to give a fair idea of the variety and novelty 
of a short sporting trip in — to use the words applied 
by Byron to a contiguous country — " this delicious 
land." 



246 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

" El Guco, Jerez de la Frontera, 

" Jan. 25, 1895. 

" My Dear D 

" After a rough passage to Gibraltar, and 
another to Cadiz via Tangiers, we have duly arrived 
at Don Pedro's, who has not only received us with 
princely hospitality, but has also given us a suite 
of four rooms overlooking the Bull-ring and the 
Alcazar of the Duke of San Lorenzo, besides providing 
us with a great variety of amusements prior to our 
starting on Monday for the Palaccio de Oiiana, the 
Comte de Medina Sidonia's hunting-seat in the Goto, 
which marches with the big preserves of the Comtesse 
de Paris. The Goto has an area of two hundred and 
fifty square miles, so that each gun requires two 
horses. Don Pedro's stable is full of nags, and we 
have been trying which we shall select for our trip. 
Dinner-parties, dances, a masked ball, lawn-tennis, 
pigeon-shooting, hunting, etc., made our stay very 
pleasant ; but best of all, Don Guillermo Garvey, 
the owner of the finest stud in this part of Spain, if 
not in the whole country, has placed his horses at 
my disposal. My riding opportunities are therefore 
unlimited, and my knees already as raw as mutton- 
chops. To-morrow I am going to school Lindo — a 
grandson of the Duke of Hamilton's flying Leonie — 
whom I shall hope to ride in the big steeplechase at 
Madrid, over a country adjoining the Jerez race- 
course. After the ride we intend trying for a lot 
of snipe, which we flushed out hunting this afternoon. 
I am also in hopes of getting mounts at Gadiz, Jerez, 
San Lucar, and Seville. Wild Spain, by Ghapman 
and Buck, gives a capital account of the Goto shoot. 

" Yours, C. G. DE C." 



MORE SPORT IN SPAIN 247 

" El Cuco, Feb. n, 1895. 

" Yesterday we did our pigeon-shooting. In the 
big prize — two Spanish horses — I had bad luck, three 
of my birds falling dead just out of bounds. How- 
ever, I won the next sweep in a field of thirteen, and 
then failed in two others. There were only four birds 
left, and the light had become so bad that we could 
barely see the traps. I was in favour of stopping, 

but O'S asked me to shoot for him against their 

two crack shots. I consented, and shot first. My 
bird — a white one — went up like a rocket, and I got 
him with my second barrel against the sky. The 
others were much less fortunate, getting dark, low- 
flying birds that went straight away like rabbits ; 
so not unnaturally they missed. Thus the shekels 
became ' Colorado's,' as we now call him. 

" The name arose this way. The keepers cannot 
pronounce our names, so adopt their own nomen- 
clature, and as the glare and constant exposure have 
made O'S.'s jolly old face as red as the rising sun, 
they have dubbed him ' Colorado.' I am * El Baron.' 

We were rather amused the other day. O'S had 

just shot a stag, a fine beast, when one beater asked 
another to whose gun it had fallen. * Rubio's,' was 
the reply. We arrived at the Palaccio after dark, 
and at dinner a voluntary sweepstake of from one 
to five dollars was agreed upon for each beast shot 
with ball — stag, boar, lynx, or fox. I barred paying 
or receiving over the last-named, but consented to 
shoot them, as they do undoubtedly destroy many 
fawns and young pigs. I don't know whether you 
are going to publish this, but if so, trust it won't be 
welcomed as a damaging admission on the part of 



248 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

an ardent fox-hunter by enemies of Reynard at home. 
You recollect that tale Townsend told us the other 
day in Essex, about the farmer who was ready to 
swear that owing to a dog-fox getting into the pen, 
half the young lambs were born with fox heads ! But 
to return to Spain. A fox did come racing past me, 
so, hardening my heart, I put a ball from my smooth- 
bore behind his shoulder, dropping him in his tracks. 
At that moment, by way of judgment, a noble stag 
trotted by on my other side. To drop my gun and 
pick up a Reilly Express took but little time, but 
instead of a steady broadside, it was a more hurried 
and diagonal one : result, a miss, profanity, and a 
spirit of dejection. Luckily I shortly afterwards got 
a ten-pointer. . . . Nine hinds had passed me, when 
at length I espied a stag. I was outside gun, and he 
was just outside the pine- wood over seventy yards 
off, with very uneven ground between us, so that his 
head, neck, and top of shoulder were alone visible. 
I heard my bullet strike home, and saw the hinds 
going off without him, so concluded it was all right. 
On going up after the beat, there he lay, the bullet 
having entered just behind the ear, and fractured 
the base of the skull/* 

" El Cuco, Feb. 14, 1895. 

" We leave here on Monday for Gibraltar, driving 
by special diligence from St. Fernando to Algiers, 
and take Orient boat on Tuesday for England, arriving 
in London probably on Saturday. There was a ball 
here to-night, and one close by yesterday after some 
theatricals, through which I slept profoundly ; in 
fact they do say that I snored so loud that two friends 



MORE SPORT IN SPAIN 249 

led me from the room to an adjoining one, where I 
lost gloves to the belle of Jerez. 

" There is an old custom much appreciated at Goto, 
and that is crowning a man who has killed his first 
stag, either at the Palaccio, or Marismilla. A crown 
composed of paper and forest flowers is made, and 
placed on his head by the local beauty. The success- 
ful sportsman sits in a chair of state, and the beauty 
having crowned him, the musicians with their man- 
dolines, playing the Royal March, head a procession 

comprising Don P 's army of retainers and all 

their women folks. Then the fun commences, and 
sevillanas and songs last till the small hours, the 
women being provided with wine and cake, and the 
men with wine and cigars. Both males and females, 
the latter playing castanets, dance with considerable 
grace, and much delight the onlookers. 

" When ' Colorado's ' — ' Rubito ' (little fair one) 
a woman called him yesterday in Seville — turn came, 
he was splendid, his good-humoured face smiling all 
over — the sun and unlimited '47 Solera, which we 
drank like water, had made it mahogany-coloured — 
with a Henry Clay Sobremesa, as big as a spinnaker- 
boom, in his mouth, and his crown worn like a forage 
cap. His head being swollen by mosquito-bites, he 
looked a perfect picture of King Cole. At the finish 
the procession departs as it entered, playing the Royal 
March. On our last day ladies joined us from Jerez, 
one of whom shared my butt during the two drives 
she was with us in order to see the sport. Twelve 
hinds, two fawns, and a stag passed us. I got the 
stag, though he did not fall to the gun. He was a 
long shot, and had both bullets through him, but 



250 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

a bit far back and low. He crossed a lagoon, where 
a dog bayed him. We followed, horse and foot, but 
before we got up he broke his bay, when we were 
obliged to race our hacks to our felucca on the Guadal- 
quiver, in order not to miss the train to Bonanza. 
However, Manuel the keeper tracked this wounded 
stag for three miles, and finally secured him. During 
our first drive, an officer of the French Cuirassiers, 
who accompanied the ladies, not only fired at hinds 
whenever he had a chance, but also down the line, 
which was quite contrary to regulation. His first 
shot whistled just over our heads, whilst the second 
struck a tree very near us. It was lucky that his 
other cartridges misfired. 

** One day Pepe Larios, a keeper, and I had rather 
a good gallop after an ape which was to be turned 
down, but which got away with a chain and collar. 
Pepe had a hog-spear, and tried, but unsuccessfully, 
to pin the chain to the ground. We eventually 
pumped our quarry, who ran under a low pine-bush. 
I jumped of? the faithful Saturno (who has carried 
me for so many miles, and whom I saw again to-day 
apparently none the worse for all his hard work), and 
gripped the chain, whilst Pepe slipped his long Jerez 
knife under the collar, and set him at liberty.'" 

" S.S. * Himalaya,' Feb. 20, 1895. 

" We left Gib. yesterday, and are having a fine 
passage, so, bar accidents, may expect to reach 
Plymouth on Friday morning, and Tilbury about 
noon on Saturday. On Sunday we had a day at 
the bustard, and found great quantities, but un- 
happily they flew too high. Our party, including 



MORE SPORT IN SPAIN 251 

one lady, started at 8 a.m. for a point about fifteen 

miles from the Cuco, and Don P drove a team 

with a party of ladies to lunch, which we thoroughly 
enjoyed on a hillside in most perfect weather. Riding 
to our last drive I came across a dead snake, not 
killed, so far as I know, by one of our party. This 
was only the second I'd come across, the other being 
in the Goto ; Jose followed its track in the sand, and 
halved it with his big knife. 

" It was getting dark when W killed his first 

bustard. Benitez, his shikari, is considered the best 
bustard hunter in the Jerez district. He has an 
exceptionally fine collection of eggs, and I should 
think could supply collectors with rare specimens 
at a moderate price. 

" Our nags had done a hard day's work in the 
deepest of ground, and we were many miles from 
home. I and a companion, being merciful to our 
beasts, lagged so far behind that one of the party 
came back to ascertain whether an accident had 
occurred, or we had been tackled by anarchists, who 
are pretty numerous just now, owing in some degree, 
no doubt, to the fact that the recent heavy rains 
have thrown many men out of work. Not long since 
four were garroted in the big square. It was with a 
certain relief that at 8 p.m., after a very long day, I 
led Saturno up to the stables, where he had a well- 
earned rest ; to my surprise he had all his shoes on. 
When at daybreak next day I went roimd to bid 
the horse farewell, it seemed like parting with an 
old friend. Our return was welcomed by frantic 
bounds and barks by gallant little Vampiro. The 
dog received no less than twenty-one wounds from 



252 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

a boar, whilst defending his master, Don P , who 

was on his back fighting with heels and fists, till at 
length when all but exhausted he got the brute by 
the hind legs, and threw him on his side. Luckily 
Juanillo came up in time to hang on to the boar, 
whilst Don P — slipped his knife into him, and 
so ended a desperate encounter. Poor little Vam- 
piro's entrails were out, and his life was despaired 
of. However, the wounded canine hero was sewn 
up, and, marvellous to relate, recovered. He is now 
an honoured pensioner, but is never allowed to go 
to the Goto, for they are sure he would be as willing 
to give his life in defence of his beloved master, should 
occasion arise, in the future as he was in the past. That 
boar's head is the first trophy of the chase which 
catches your eye in the entrance-hall of the ' Cuco.' 

" Juanillo is the finest specimen of a Spanish forest- 
keeper I ever came across. He is always ready with 
his dogs (only two or three mongrels) to tackle any 
boar on foot. To watch his opportunity, have the 
boar by the hind legs on his side, and a knife into his 
ribs, lungs, or heart, is the work of an instant. It 
is not difficult to guess the penalty of failure with 
an old tusker. The other day, when the boar was 
on foot, it was a refreshing sight to see Juanillo slip 
off his mule and keep abreast of the dogs, watching 
his opportunity to dash into the jungle the moment 
the quarry was bayed. When one looked at that 
simple brave forester, and recollected some of the 
feeble specimens of manhood that are to be seen 
crawling about Piccadilly and Regent Street, a feeling 
of contempt and indignation arose, impossible to 
suppress. 



MORE SPORT IN SPAIN 253 

" The pace was pretty warm in the above-mentioned 
run, and no less than three guns were in jeopardy of 
being lost. First I jumped over a gallant Colonel's 
gun — as he wore an eye-glass he was dubbed by the 
keepers ' Looking-glass ' (in Spanish) ; then I saw 
' Colorado's ' second horseman with his gun turn end 
over end on his horse. After killing the boar, Don 

Pablo D on looking into his bucket found it 

empty ; but that keen sportsman, Delme Radcliffe, 
rode his heel line back for three-quarters of a mile 
and recovered the gun. 

" On Monday we left by an early train for San 
Fernando — both direct boat and train service with 
Gibraltar having broken down — and where a special 
diligence was awaiting us. With five mixed teams 
of horses and mules we covered the fifty-eight miles 
to Algeciras in under ten hours, the usual time being 
fifteen. The roads here and there were awful — com- 
posed of soft deep clay with pine boughs stretched 
across ; but the main part of the distance would have 
been fairly sound travelling had it not been for occa- 
sional large holes, which not only jolted the vehicle 
till it nearly capsized, but strained the springs to 
their utmost. The country between San Fernando 
and Algeciras is decidedly varied. At the start many 
parts reminded one of the Coto ; then the lake oppo- 
site Mariana and the mountains beyond recalled 
memories of Switzerland. 

" Both ' Colorado ' and I agreed that never again, 
if it could be avoided, would we make a forced march 
by diligence, as the cruelty of the driver and his 
assistant, who keeps jumping off to flog, and prod 
with a pointed stick, the unfortunate team, passes 



254 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

credulity. It only confirmed my oft-expressed belief 
that to be killed, even if death was not immediate, 
in the bull-ring, is kindness itself compared to the 
sufferings of a hackney horse in Spain. Take, for 
instance, our last team from Tarifa to Algeciras, the 
most severe stage of our journey. These were the 
most ragged lot of the five, consisting of three mules 
and three horses ; all had been down, and were galled 
all over. At starting the team could scarcely move, 
despite the free application of stick and whipcord. 
Long before reaching our destination the galls on 
each wretched beast of burden had become open 
wounds, and woe betide the animal that stumbled ; 
when the near leader did so, and cut open his already 
blemished near fetlock, it passed our comprehension 
how he recovered, and was able to continue the hor- 
rible journey. Having knocked the piratical porters 
down from seventy-five pesetas to sixty-two and a 
half for transporting ourselves and baggage about 
three hundred yards to our launch, for which ten 
would have been ample remuneration, we steamed 
over to Gibraltar, where Delme Radcliffe, the worthy 
scion of a fine old sporting stock, hospitably enter- 
tained us at a farewell dinner at the Bristol. This 
Delme is a grandson of the author of that noble work 
on fox-hunting, and, you will recollect, near relatives 
of his lived in the Tedworth country. The hospitality 
and kindness we received at Jerez were quite beyond 
praise. ' See Naples and die ! ' What nonsense ! 
* See Jerez and live ! ' is much more to the point." 

After my return from Spain I availed myself of 
such opportunities as arose for steeplechasing in the 



MORE SPORT IN SPAIN 255 

spring. Several good friends offered me mounts. A 
rather severe attack of influenza, or something of 
the kind, got a grip of me in March, but shaldng it 
of! without great difficulty I went almost straight 
from my bed to the saddle without any evil effects, 
and rode in two steeplechases and a hurdle race at 
the Sports' Club meeting at Hurst Park. No good 
there ; but better fortune at Warwick in May, where 
I won a race on Fred Cotton's Sophism, a real good 
thing. Curiously enough, Wenty Hope Johnstone 
and I scored in the first and last races respectively 
of the Warwick meeting. May 10 was rather an 
interesting day from a family point of view, as my 
son and I were pitted against one another in a match 
at the Plumpton meeting. He had beaten me in a 
steeplechase not such a long while before, but I had 
my revenge in this match. Cotton's Burgundy, my 
mount, started a very hot favourite, and indeed my 
son had no chance whatever on Mr. Erskine's Sappho, 
who refused at the first fence, and never finished the 
course. 

I should not forget to mention that in August 
1897 I had five magnificent days in the Austrian 
Tyrol as the guest of Prince Bliicher. We were 
accompanied by Count Schaffgotsche, and succeeded 
in getting forty -six chamois. In subsequent years 
I have had some grand shooting with the Prince 
at Krieblowitz, and taken part in the annual shoots 
at neighbouring castles. 



CHAPTER X 

THE BOEK WAR 

"VTATURALLY enough, when the Boer War broke 
out I was anxious to be in it ! My eldest 
son Claude was at the front with the composite 
regiment of the Household Cavalry, and two of my 
other sons, Raul and Vierville, were about to follow 
him, the former with the 3rd Battalion of the 2nd 
Grenadier Guards, to which he had just been gazetted, 
and the latter with the Imperial Yeomanry under 
Colonel Paget. 

I suggested the idea of going out to Lady de 
Crespigny, and not only did she immediately fall in 
with it but proposed to accompany me herself, and 
do a little nursing. 

A few days before we sailed I received the following 
telegram from Claude's regiment : 

" Hearty Congratulations upon Mr. de Crespigny 's 
courageous action. 

"Armstrong, Corporal-Major." 

At the time I was quite in the dark as to what 
the telegram referred to, but I soon found out when 
I got my morning paper. Perhaps it would not be 
out of place to give the account of the incident in 

256 



THE BOER WAR 257 

the words of the correspondent of the Mail, who wired 
from Rensberg as follows : 

** During the advance of Colonel Porter's brigade 
on Friday, January 19, a detachment of the House- 
hold Cavalry which formed the advance guard under 
Captain Ferguson, was ordered to reconnoitre the 
kopjes to the north-west of Kleinfontein. The party, 
which was commanded by Lieutenant de Crespigny, 
had almost reached the top of the kopjes, when it 
was met by a heavy fire from the Boers. Trooper 
Kemp's horse bolted. Trooper Jaager was wounded, 
and his horse ran off. Lieutenant de Crespigny, 
whose horse was twice hit, took that ot Shoeing- 
Smith Coulson, and rode back to save Jaager. The 
latter was too exhausted to mount, and the lieutenant 
bade him hold on to the stirrup leather. Meanwhile 
they were subjected to a heavy fire, and the horse 
was twice wounded. Lieutenant de Crespigny then 
dismounted and took the other stirrup, both men 
thus continuing their retreat. Another trooper then 
came up and took Jaager behind him on his horse, 
the lieutenant waiting until Coulson came up with his 
wounded charger. Lieutenant de Crespigny 's action 
is spoken of as one of the most distinguished bravery." 

For this he was recommended for the V.C, a 
recommendation which was lost in transit between 
the Brigadier and Divisional Commander, and was 
subsequently refused by the Army Council, which 
did not come into existence until four years after- 
wards. Is there any precedent, I wonder, for the 
rejection of a recommendation from the Commander- 
in-Chief, supported by the Divisional Commander ? 

17 



258 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

I was naturally glad to find that the boy had had 
a chance of distinguishing himself, and had not failed 
to make use of it. No doubt he found that the 
experience gained in steeplechases and in the hunting- 
field came in useful, and probably there were plenty 
of others who found the same thing. Indeed, as was 
once remarked by Sir Hussey Vivian, who com- 
manded the Hussar Brigade at Waterloo, the value of 
sport in this connection cannot be over-estimated ; 
and men who have been good sportsmen at home are 
the men who will do best and show the greatest 
amount of resource when on active service. 

The horse he was riding at the time was " Carlist," 
an old steeplechaser, which had given us seven falls 
in six steeplechases ! My boy had a very bad 
fall when riding it at Newmarket, and was " knocked 
out " for a long time. I remember Prince Christian 
saying to me, " If I were you. Sir Claude, I would 
either shoot or sell that horse ! '' Well, in this case 
he got a little of the shooting that the Prince suggested. 

We sailed for South Africa on February 3. On our 
arrival at Cape Town the first thing I did was to 
witness a boxing match ! It was the middle-weight 
championship of South Africa, and they very politely 
made me a member of the club and asked me to 
act as referee. I declined the invitation to officiate 
in that capacity, as one of the pugilists was a 60th 
Rifleman, but I thoroughly enjoyed the sport, which 
was capital. I have seldom seen a closer contest. 

To return to the war. I made all speed to get to 
the front. Of the actual fighting I didn't see as much 
as I should like to have done, I'm sorry to say. I got 
to Kimberley soon after the relief, and found the 



THE BOER WAR 259 

garrison in a surprisingly cheerful condition, con- 
sidering all they had been through. Lady de Cres- 
pigny, by the way, was the first lady to enter Kimber- 
ley and Bloemfontein. At Kimberley I stayed at 
the Sanatorium, where Cecil Rhodes had also stopped, 
which had been fitted up as a redoubt. On March 7 
my eldest son was severely wounded in the engage- 
ment at Poplar Grove. The occurrence was reported 
in the following dispatch from Lord Roberts : — 

" Poplar Grove, March 7 (7.35 p.m.). 

" We have had a very successful day and com- 
pletely routed the enemy, who are in full retreat. 

" The position they occupied was extremely strong, 
and cunningly arranged, with a second line of en- 
trenchments, which would have caused us heavy 
loss had a direct attack been made. 

" The turning movement was necessarily wide, 
owing to the nature of the ground, and the Cavalry 
and Horse Artillery horses are much done up. 

" The fighting was practically confined to the 
Cavalry Division, which, as usual, did exceedingly well, 
and French reports that the Horse Artillery Batteries 
did a great deal of execution amongst the enemy. 

" Our casualties number about fifty. 

" I regret to say that Lieutenant Keswick, 12th 
Lancers, was killed, and Lieutenant Bailey, of the 
same regiment, severely wounded. Lieutenant de 
Crespigny, 2nd Life Guards, also severely wounded. 

" The remaining casualties will be telegraphed 
to-morrow. 

" Generals de Wet and Delarey were in command 
of the Boer forces." 



260 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

Lord Roberts ordered a special ambulance to take 
my son and one other man who was also severely 
wounded (and subsequently died) to Bloemfontein, the 
remainder of the column being moved to Kimberley. 

Lady de Crespigny and myself shortly afterwards 
arrived at Bloemfontein, and found our son in hospital, 
badly hit but quite cheerful. 

I might mention that Lady de Crespigny and 
myself were granted a special pass into Bloemfontein 
to see our boy. His condition for some days was ex- 
tremely critical. Lord Roberts was kindness itself, 
and paid the patient several visits. He supplied 
him with eggs when none were to be got for love or 
money ; and Prince Francis of Teck also showed 
his kindness in the same way. 

A good deal has been said about the explosive 
bullets used by the Boers, and there is no doubt that 
they were used, and pretty extensively too. But I 
fancy the explanation lies partly in the fact that many 
of the Boers who had been commandeered for service 
brought with them the same cartridges which they 
had been in the habit of using when hunting — these 
being of an expansive character. As to their having 
fired upon the white flag, I must confess to having 
seen shells falling among the ambulance wagons at 
the Modder River. It is the sort of thing one doesn't 
easily forget. 

I brought home with me a good many trophies of 
the campaign of one kind and another. One of these 
was a cartridge wrapper which I picked up in the 
Boer trenches, which bore the following inscription : 

" 1° cart S.A. Ball for the Martini-Henry Rifle, 



THE BOER WAR 261 

or machine gun, Ely Bros., Ltd., London," showing 
that in some cases the enemy were actually potting 
our men with our own cartridges. 

I saw an incident at Bloemf ontein which showed the 
sort of stuff the Naval Brigade were made of. Early 
one morning in the great square, I met the big 
naval guns, each dragged by thirty-two oxen. They 
were led by mounted naval officers, with a variety 
of royal yard and spinnaker boom seats, and escorted 
by blue jackets with the usual breezy roll which 
passes muster for marching when they are ashore. 
I hardly had time to walk half a mile up a hill to 
visit a wounded Grenadier, when these veritable 
" handy '' men had run the heavy ordnance up a 
high kopje, and were sitting at ease ready to defend 
the town like the grand watch-dogs they are ; and 
it must be remembered that the enemy were pretty 
close at the time. 

But every branch of the forces was doing good 
work, in spite of the stay-at-home critics, for some 
of whom one can have nothing but contempt. I 
wonder what these same critics would have felt if 
they had actually been at Magersfontein, where there 
was such a terrible loss among the Highlanders — as the 
Boers caught them in quarter column before they had 
time to open out into loose formation. They would 
probably have died of sheer " funk " where they stood. 

A little " live " experience would have done these 
critics good. They might have discovered that the 
open veldt opposite Boer earthworks is no great 
catch when it is as dark as a wolf's throat, with a 
fusillade of rain striking you from the clouds and 
another of Mauser bullets from the trenches. 



262 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

All this talk by the stay-at-home critics about 
" feather-bed " soldiers was just so much silly 
nonsense. I had lunch with the Duke of Teck about 
eight miles from Bloemfontein, and he was living 
on the commonest rations. As a great surprise there 
was a hot cake to finish up with. It was a curious 
sort of cake, made by the Duke's soldier servant. 
The Duke had himself been taught how to make it 
by an old Boer woman who took a great fancy to him 
at T'bancho, and had passed the information on to 
his servant, apparently with rather indifferent results. 
All we had to drink was cocoa ; there was no wine 
or spirits. Another time I came across the 10th 
Hussars, after they had been out all day, and with 
them was old *' Bobby " Fisher, whom I have often 
ridden against. He said I must have something 
with them, but, when he came to look, all he had 
was half a loaf of almost uneatable bread. There 
was an officer attached to that party, the late Lord 
Kensington, who would think nothing of giving 
500 guineas for a polo pony ! His breakfast consisted 
in smoking a filthy pipe full of Boer tobacco ! I met, 
too, an officer whose father owns one of the finest 
feudal castles in Scotland ; and all that he had to eat 
was the inside of a black potato. But they were not 
complaining. Amongst the non-commissioned officers 
and men a similar spirit prevailed. I gave one man 
a piece of chocolate, and he was as grateful as if I 
had given him an order for the Savoy. 

In spite of all that has been said about BuUer's 
inaction before Ladysmith, I can testify from a letter 
received by my eldest son in hospital, from one 
of Buller's aide-de-camps, that he was fighting on 



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SIR EVELYN WOOD, V.C., G.C.B. 



[p. 263 



THE BOER WAR 263 

thirty-one days out of forty. Mention of Ladysmith 
reminds me that Sir Harry Smith (whose wife gave her 
name to Ladysmith) when Governor of Cape Colony 
gave me his sword-belt. I was quite a lad at the 
time, but after the war I hunted it up, and sent it 
to Sir George White, as a small token of my admira- 
tion for his gallant defence, when he kept the Union 
Jack flying so long and in the midst of so many 
perils and privations at Ladysmith. 

As to the Volunteers, I remember a speech made 
by Sir Evelyn Wood at Maldon, to the 2nd Vol. 
Batt., Essex Regiment, in which he referred to a letter 
he had received from Major-General (as he was then) 
Smith-Dorrien, writing from Komati Poort, in which 
the latter said : " I have now been associated for a 
year with the Volunteers. Taking the mounted and 
dismounted men, I cannot want to have a better, 
more willing, more daring, more go-ahead lot of 
men, and I shall be glad if I can get the same sort of 
men that I have had with me heretofore.'' 

Sir Evelyn, by the way, had one or two rather 
amusing things to say about his first acquaintance 
with Smith-Dorrien. He described how, eighteen 
years before, he was outside Alexandria, and their 
lines were being menaced by a division of Arabi 
Pasha's army. Smith-Dorrien was then a lieutenant, 
and he sent him into the Khedive's stables, about 
eight or nine miles behind them, to get horses. The 
lieutenant returned with twenty-two horses, three 
mules, and a donkey. He put some of the soldiers 
on these — most of them had never been astride an 
animal before— on saddles which he had got from 
somewhere, and away he marched with them at night, 



264 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

most of them not riding, but holding on to the animals, 
as there was plenty of accommodation between the 
saddle and the neck. They went out to the front, 
engaged the enemy, of whom they shot three, and 
from that day the latter ceased from troubling ! 

Two or three years afterwards, when he was trying 
to raise the Egyptian army, he came across Smith- 
Dorrien again. The latter had been practically 
turned out of his regiment through rheumatism of 
the knee, and when Sir Evelyn agreed to take him on, 
the doctor remarked that he had done wrong, and 
taken on a " dead head." " Well," said Sir Evelyn, 
" I'm willing to back my own judgment. I'd rather 
have him with one knee than most men with 
two." 

Among the officers with whom I came in personal 
contact were General French and Lord Dundonald, 
both of whom did much brilliant work. Lord Dun- 
donald went out to South Africa on his own hook, 
and the authorities would not do anything for him 
at first, but they soon had to recognise his sterling 
qualities. All sorts of reports were circulated about 
Lord Methuen ; but I saw him, and he was as well as 
possible. With regard to Magersfontein, it is said 
that the order given to the Highlanders was intended 
for the Foot Guards. It was dark at the time, and 
they were afraid to " flash " the orders. 

I also met General Gatacre, General Brabazon, 
Colonel Quale-Jones, and Colonel Babington, each 
of whom had been stationed at Colchester. I saw 
Sir William Gatacre at Cape Town, prior to his de- 
parture for England ; but nothing passed between 
us in reference to the General's recall. He was too 



THE BOER WAR 265 

good a sportsman to complain, and I did not mention 
the matter, but I felt very sorry for him. 

One day I had a long ride with General Stephenson, 
formerly in command of the Essex Regiment. It was 
rumoured that the Boers were trying to take a water 
tank ; and as we were riding along we met someone 
whom it was thought was Lord Stanley, the Press 
Censor, now Lord Derby. I rode up to him to see 
if he had any later information he could give us, 
when I discovered it was Dr. (now Sir Arthur) Conan 
Doyle, and a very fine fellow 1 found him. 

An incident that I witnessed after my return to 
England impressed me very much at the time, as 
showing the sort of spirit that imbued the men who 
took part in this war. I was on my way to see my 
son Raul off at Southampton. 

With us in the carriage were Lord Alan (now Earl) 
Percy, and the late Mr. Meeking, who lost a brother 
in the 10th Hussars. As we crawled past Pirbright 
in a South-Western " express " we found that the 
Grenadiers had voluntarily turned out on the canal, 
which is near enough to the line for Raul to recognize 
several of the men, and they cheered their officers 
as only British soldiers and sailors can cheer. When 
men have such a feeling of affection and respect for 
their officers one realizes how strongly esprit de corps 
still exists, especially in our crack regiments, and how 
it was that the Grenadiers remained with an un- 
broken front in South Africa, when other regiments 
on either side were *' disorganised," on an officer 
saying, " Remember, men, you're Grenadiers ! " 

There can be no doubt in my mind that faulty 
scouting iiccounted for many of our disastexs in the 



266 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

early part of the war. Scouts are to an army what 
frigates were to the fleet in Nelson's day ; and every- 
one remembers that gallant sailor's remark when, in 
the bitterness and despair of his fruitless search for 
the French fleet, he declared that at his death, " Want 
of frigates " would be found stamped on his heart. 

I did a good deal of scouting work myself, by the 
way. I went with Porter's Cavalry, and though I 
really was a " visitor " 1 scouted as a private when 
I was required. I saw the Boers on several occasions, 
but we did not get very close to them. My eldest 
son was in about two dozen actions — he was under 
fire every day almost — and he told me that he hardly 
ever saw a Boer. They are undoubtedly clever at 
that sort of fighting ; but they wouldn't meet our 
fellows in the open. 

A letter received after my return to England from 
a Maldon man, who was serving under Colonel de Lisle, 
shows the sort of tactics that De Wet and his men 
pursued. " I notice by the papers," he says, " that 
some of the people have a very good opinion of De 
Wet. If they knew as much about him as we do, 
they might think differently. We have often met 
De Wet's convoys and captured them, but not the 
leader, for the simple reason that as soon as our men 
were sighted he has bunked off, leaving his men to 
get on as best they can. Of course, while we are 
engaging them he has time to pick up a few stragglers, 
who are in abundance. He once more repeats the 
so-called smart * tactics,' this time on another 
column, loses his men, and once more bunks, which 
is very easy to do in Africa, even if he had twice the 
number of columns on his track, because his friends. 



THE BOER WAR 267 

are in every part that he directs his attention to. We 
are also handicapped, as the enemy have so much in 
their favour. They seldom wear uniform ; they know 
every kopje ; they also practise what the British 
soldier is not allowed to do." 

While with Porter's Cavalry I assisted in rescuing 
a large number of our wounded after Broadwood's 
disaster at Koorn Spruit. We were only just in time 
to save them, and we had to bury numbers of dead. 
I was under fire on this occasion, and a Boer shell 
passed quite close enough to my head to be 
pleasant. 

There were several amusing yarns current about 
the Boer women. One of them became so affectionate 
towards the officer who escorted her to Cape Town, 
that her husband was positively delighted when he 
and his wife were safely shipped for St. Helena ! 

The men who did the scouting work (to return to 
our " muttons," as they say), were good men and true 
enough, but the majority of them were town-bred, 
and new to the game, and no match for the Boers, who 
are past-masters in this department. There were 
plenty of men who had served in former years who, 
to their everlasting shame, did not offer their services 
in the war — men who by accident of birth, education, 
and inclination, should have proved the best scouts 
we had — men who have devoted much of their spare 
time to the ordinary sports of English country gentle- 
men, and who have probably, in addition, shot big 
game either when serving abroad or travelling. 

There were some in my own county of Essex, who 
have made the profession of arms their study, but 
who had retired from the service and were under 



268 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

sixty years of age. Joubert and Cronje were sixty- 
five ! And I remember the case of a fine old New 
Zealander, whom I knew, who, at the age of sixty- 
five, when refused in his native island on account of 
age, though in humble circumstances, paid his passage 
to the Cape, and enlisted in the Duke of Edinburgh's 
volunteers. The last I saw of him was being carried 
in a stretcher over the side of the Canada, en route for 
Netley Hospital. 

Surely some of these gentlemen could have formed 
the nucleus of a corps of scouts from among their 
tenants and retainers — men who might have saved us 
from such a disaster as Sauna's Post — men who would 
have been prepared to sacrifice their lives to save their 
comrades. And the men of Essex, who fought under 
Stephenson and others, proved themselves second to 
none. Knowledge of drill would have proved abso- 
lutely unnecessary, but a want of that knowledge 
doubtless made men, who would have been admirable 
scouts, diffident about joining either the Yeomanry 
or the Volunteers. 

These feather-bed soldiers doubtless consider them- 
selves aristocrats, but as such they should be wiped 
out, as were the effeminate French aristocrats during 
the latter days of the Bourbons. If we are to have 
aristocracy, let it be the genuine article, sprung from 
the loins of such men as Winchester and Airlie. 

Of aristocrats of the right sort I am glad to say 
there are still plenty and to spare, as this war fully 
testified. There comes to my mind, amongst 
others, the name of Lord Rosmead, the son of a 
distinguished father, who had made a great name for 
himself in South Africa. The moment England was 



THE BOER WAR 269 

in a tight place, the son volunteered to go to the front, 
and endeavoured to add some further lustre to his 
family escutcheon with his sword. I had the pleasure 
of meeting him several times out in South Africa. 
On one occasion, on the Orange River, I found him 
making use of very strong language at being forced 
to lead a life of what he considered to be inactivity ; 
but a few days later I met him again at Bloemfontein, 
where he had done the most sensible thing a man 
could do to see active service — he had got on the 
Stall of General Hutton, of the 60th Rifles. While 
General Buller and other 60th Riflemen were " giving 
the Boers what for " on the Durban side. General 
Hutton was " giving them hell " on the other. The 
march from Bloemfontein to Pretoria was no kid- 
glove picnic. Lord Rosmead lost no less than eight 
horses on the march and during the fighting, which 
was a pretty good indication of the hot work he had 
been through. 

This is the sort of thing that helps to make and 
keep England what she is. Personally, I think that 
every able-bodied Briton should qualify to defend his 
country ; and I do not consider a male to be a man 
till he has done so. We might take a lesson in this 
matter from savage nations. It is a dream of mine 
that one day we may see the institution in England 
of " Schools of Instruction for Home Defence," in 
which each individual could select the branch most 
interesting to him, including marine mining. Of 
course to remain a first-class nation we must retain 
the command of the sea. But this being secured, 
I think, if some scheme of the kind I have suggested 
were carried out, that, should occasion arise, England 



270 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

might be depleted of its active army, and the 
country's defence might safely be left in the hands 
of the citizen soldiers. 

I cannot quit this subject without referring to a 
speech made by the then Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, 
in the course of which he remarked that he was not 
sure that our Army officers had taken their duties 
quite as professionally as he would have liked to have 
seen them. I took the matter up in public very 
strongly at the time, and my very natural indignation 
at the aspersions cast on the British officer as a 
class must be my apology tor referring to the matter 
again here. 

I saw plenty of instances in South Africa of the 
serious way in which British officers performed their 
duties, and of the hardships which they had to under- 
go. On one occasion, at Karee Siding, Broadwood's 
Brigade were engaged from seven in the morning 
until seven in the evening of the following day, 
— thirty-six hours ! — without so much as the bite of 
a biscuit. 

There is a story that some foreign military attaches 
were being conducted round Woolwich Arsenal, and 
saw some men who were working with pick and spade, 
and dressed in common canvas suits. One of the 
attaches remarked to the officer conducting the 
party, " Convicts, I presume ? " The officer re- 
plied, " Oh dear, no ! they are British Artillery 
officers." That explanation caused the Attache to 
observe that he could now quite understand why the 
British Artillery was the best in the world. 

But after all, the British officer needs no words 
of mine to vindicate his honour — his own deeds 




W a 



THE BOER WAR 271 

are the most fitting criterion by which to judge 
him. 

The war cost me a very dear friend in Major Henry 
Shelley Dalbiac, who was killed in the fighting out- 
side Senekal, while with Sir Leslie Rundle's force. 
Dalbiac had been in the Royal Artillery, and served as 
a Captain in the Egyptian war. He was badly hit at 
Tel-el-Kebir, and when the doctor told him he had 
only a quarter of an hour to live, the gallant " Trea- 
sure " offered to bet him a fiver he was a liar ! He 
retired from the army in 1887, but when the Boer 
War broke out he went out as Captain in the Imperial 
Yeomanry. 

Poor Dalbiac ! He was the best of friends, and 
a true sportsman. Old Kozak belonged to him, 
and he used to ride him with the West Surrey Stag- 
hounds. When Dalbiac went to the front he left 
Kozak behind, declaring that he was far too good 
a horse to get shot ; and after his death in South 
Africa I purchased the horse for old acquaintance' 
sake, and many is the race I have ridden and won 
on him since. 

One of the first events after my return to England 
was the revival of the Champion Lodge Steeplechases, 
after a lapse of about ten years. The event was 
interesting to me in two ways, one being the fact that 
it was the thirty-fourth anniversary of my first 
winning mount, and the other that I got home a 
winner in the first event — the Champion Lodge Cup 
— on the back of poor old Dalbiac 's Kozak. 

I won two other races on Kozak early in the same 
year, 1901 — the Maiden Hurdle Race at Colchester, 
and the Nimrod Cup at the Hawthorn Hill meeting. 



272 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

At the East Essex Hunt Point to Point Races in 
March, by the way, my son Raul had what might 
have been a nasty spill. His horse rolled over just 
after clearing the second jump, and his rider lay 
mixed up, as it seemed, with the animal's hoofs ; 
but beyond a slight injury to his shoulder he was 
quite unhurt. 

In the autumn of the year I held what I called my 
annual South African Picnic, a shooting party which 
consisted entirely of men who had been out in South 
Africa, including on this occasion Lord Rosmead, 
General Sir Evelyn Wood, and General French. 

One of the best runs I ever remember having 
occurred with the East Essex Hounds in December, 
though unfortunately it came to an untimely ending. 
We were only a tew minutes in South Wood, when a 
grand up-wind dog fox flew, and ran through Captain's 
Wood, Maypole, and the north end of Eastlands, by 
Wickham Bishops, to Chancery, Strutheath, Westhall, 
over Braxted Park wall — a feat very few foxes who 
have been travelling with a killing scent, in heavy 
ground, for over half an hour, are capable of perform- 
ing — then across the park over the farther wall, 
followed by a single hound, into Tiptree Springs, 
before entering which, by the keeper's request, when 
the hounds had fairly earned blood, they were stopped, 
much to the disappointment of every good sportsman, 
at the best Saturday run of the season being so spoilt. 
Think of this, in the middle of December ! Supposing 
a few pheasants were moved by hounds from a 
covert which was going to be shot the following week, 
they could easily have been tapped back, and everyone 
knows that pheasants fly all the better after hounds 



THE BOER WAR 273 

have drawn a run through the coverts. However, 
there it was, and we had to swallow our disappoint- 
ment as best we might. 

It was about this time that I had an adventure 
which was a bit of a novelty, and didn't come under 
the head of any of the things I had tackled before 
in the course of my varied experiences. This was 
a stand-up fight with a monkey, and it happened in 
this way. My youngest son used to keep a couple 
of monkeys in a cage at Champion Lodge, which stood 
to one another in the relationship of mother and son. 
On the occasion in question the young monkey had 
escaped from its cage, and no one could re-capture 
him, try as they might. At last my services were 
called into requisition, and a fine dance he led me ! 
However I got him eventually, and took him back to 
the cage. Thereupon the mother monkey, imagining, 
no doubt, that we had been ill-treating her precious 
offspring in some way, flew out of the cage, leapt on 
to my shoulder, and promptly went for me tooth 
and nail. The way she pummelled me would have 
done credit to Pedlar Palmer, the bantam light- 
weight, in his best days. She planted her feet under 
my chin, got hold of my head, tore my scalp, fairly 
lifting it up, altogether giving me an awful mauling. 
I have stood up to a good many men in my time, 
professional and amateur, but I had never tackled 
a monkey before, and I don't know that I ever want 
to again. The result was a liberal application of 
arnica and bandages, and it was several days before 
I could even wear a cap. 

Kozak laid another victory to his credit in April 
1903, when he carried my son Raul home a winner in 

18 



274 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

the Grenadier Guards' Challenge Cup at the House- 
hold Brigade Steeplechases. Another horse of Raul's, 
Woodlander, ridden by the Hon. G. Douglas- 
Pennant, came in third in the same race. 

I remember that in the month previous to this, 
I rode Old Calabar in the Grand Military at Sandown, 
but he refused at the first ditch, and I pulled him up. 
I then took him back a short cut across the park, 
but in jumping the rails of the course he smashed up 
the whole obstruction, and brought me down in a 
heap. 

Races succeeded one another with great regularity 
during the seasons of 1903 and 1904, but I can recall 
no very noteworthy incident that is worth recording, 
and a mere repetition of my racing engagements 
would become tedious. It is enough to say that I 
was still feeling as " fit as a fiddle," and going as 
strong as ever. 

In 1904 my son Vierville and I enjoyed some 
pigsticking and shooting in Morocco, after a fearful 
fall he had had with the Pytchley the previous year. 

There is rather a good story up against me in 
connection with the Essex Summer Assizes. I was 
foreman of the Grand Jury, and Mr. Justice Kennedy 
was the Judge. We had been hard at it all the 
morning, and as I was particularly anxious to catch 
the three o'clock train from Chelmsford I left it to 
two of the other gentlemen, Mr. Thomas Kemble and 
Mr. D. J. Morgan, to take the last of the true bills 
and the usual presentment into court. The docu- 
ments were handed to the Clerk of Arraigns, who at 
once noticed that they had not been signed by me as 
foreman. The Judge said it would be necessary for 



THE BOER WAR 275 

the foreman to sign them before the Grand Jury 
could be discharged. " But, my Lord," exclaimed 
Mr. Kemble, amidst the laughter of the Court, " our 
foreman's bolted ! " " What's to be done ? " said 
Mr. Morgan, sotto voce, to Mr. Kemble. " I'm sure 
I don't know," said the latter. " Well, I do," said 
Mr. Morgan, suddenly : "I'm going to catch Sir 
Claude, or we shall be kept here all night." 

Suiting the action to the word, off he went, rushed 
downstairs, commandeered the first policeman he 
came across, and told him to " run like the devil to 
the station, find Sir Claude de Crespigny, and bring 
him back to the court ! " Off rushed the policeman ; 
but Morgan, thinking, I suppose, that he might not 
prove a good " stayer," bolted after him, and found 
him meandering up the street. Using his sonorous 
voice to the full, and gesticulating wildly, he again 
urged the policeman to catch me, with the result 
that the latter broke into a trot, and was lost to view. 
When, a few minutes later, Morgan reached the 
station, the train was just about to start. " Jump 
on, sir ! " cried the porters. " Not much ! " replied 
Morgan ; " I want Sir Claude de Crespigny." And in 
the distance he espied me, safe in the arms of the 
policeman, who was resisting, as politely as possible, 
my somewhat vigorous attempts to board the train. 
There was nothing for it, so I had to go back ; and 
loud was the laughter that greeted me when I re- 
appeared in the Shire Hall. 



CHAPTER XI 

FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 

TN the early part of 1905 I went out to East Africa 
for a little big-game shooting, and had the luck 
to arrive just in time to join the Sotik punitive 
expedition, so that I was able to combine a certain 
amount of fighting with some excellent sport. For 
an account of this trip I don't think I can do better 
than to refer to my diary, and relate my experiences 
just as I jotted them down at the time, while the 
incidents were fresh in my memory. The first entry 
is, I see, dated May 14, 1905. 

"S.S. 'Sybil,' Victoria Nyanza. 

" Last Monday a patrol of an officer (Capt. Barrett) 
with fifty men of the Uganda Rifles, with a Maxim, 
were sent to defend the settlers who have been 
threatened by the Sotiks, forty miles north of Njoro 
Station. A large force, under Major Pope Hennessy, 
consisting of from three companies to a wing of 
Soudanese, will follow early in June. 

" The forest through which the troops will march is 
very thick, the grass high, and too damp to burn, so it 
will favour the enemy ; who, doubtless, will endeavour 
to ambuscade us, and will in all probability, — as they 
have never yet met disciplined troops — fight well 

276 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 277 

with their poisoned arrows and spears, for at least 
some time,' against our Metfords, minus the magazine 
and Maxim. 

" If the advance guard does not get porcupined it 
will be very lucky. 

" So far as can be judged there will be a far bigger 
job on a little later nearer this lake, with the Nandi 
tribe, but as I propose leaving the country after the 
Nairobi races in July, I shall hardly be able to take 
part in it. 

" We are making a steeplechase course, so as to be 
able to have some cross-country events in conjunction 
with the flat races. 

" This morning I visited the Ripon Falls, one of 
the most beautiful spots on earth. The falls are 
— in addition to being the principal source of the 
White Nile — the dam of this lake. 

" The fall is about 25 feet, I should think, and 
a vast volume of water rushes down it. Some 
plucky fish, like our tench, scaling about 4 lbs., were 
trying to jump it. None, however, as far as I could 
see, got more than half way up, and then they fell 
back. 

" This lake (Victoria Nyanza) would make a perfect 
paradise for an artist who was fond of sport. As its 
altitude is over 3,500 feet above sea level, the heat is 
not excessive ; neither would his expenses be exces- 
sive. Return passage £100, shooting licences £50, 
hire of dhow (say) 50 rupees a month. 

" He would have an everlasting variety of sport 
and scenery — bold rocky headlands, hills of volcanic 
construction, mountains which remind one of the 
Austrian Tyrol, occasional native huts surrounded 



278 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

with patches of cultivated ground, and finely- timbered 
forests, with jungle which is in many parts impene- 
trable to man. For example, at Ukerewe there was 
a huge animal. It might have been anything smaller 
than an elephant. There were eleven of them close 
by. It jumped up within five yards of me, but so 
thick was the undergrowth that I could not make 
out what it was — probably a boar. Luckily, it broke 
away from me, for had it charged it would have been 
a bad look-out for my Swahili gunbearer and myself, 
as my chance of knocking it over would have been 
rather remote. 

"S.S. 'Sybil,' BuKOBA, 
3Iaij 17, 1905. 

" Yesterday we arrived at Bukoba (German Terri- 
tory), and were hospitably received by the officers at 
their rather primitive mess room. 

" At Entebbe, having been most cordially welcomed 
and entertained by the Commissioner, Colonel Sadler, 
and Judge Ennis, I visited ' The Sleeping Sickness 
Hospital ' — the only one in the world of any import- 
ance. There is a small one at Kisuma. This disease, 
which has only been known for three years, has been 
alluded to in the European press, but it has attracted 
very little notice, though out here it is pretty freely 
discussed, as no one, either white man or native, has 
ever recovered from it. Whole districts have fairly 
been wiped out with it. For instance, near Jinga 
(Ripon Falls), 30,000 died, and many of the islands 
in this lake are now uninhabited. 

" The disease is conveyed by the tsetse fly, in 
appearance like a horse-fly, — the same insect that 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 279 

worries the bullocks to death in South Africa. It is 
computed that no more than two per cent, convey 
the fatal germ. It is at present doubtful if it 
actually springs from them, or whether they con- 
vey it from fish. The hospital staff consists of 
two officers of the Indian Medical Corps and two 
professors. 

" I saw about a dozen patients, mostly prisoners in 
chains, as but few natives care to come into hospital. 
Knowing that they must die they prefer, to use their 
own expression, ' to die in the grass ' — i.e. they return 
to their homes, where they are more or less looked 
after by their own people ; but as the nourishment 
they receive is less than they would receive in the 
hospital, it lessens the number of their days, which 
never exceed two years. 

" In the earlier stages the patients seem very fat 
and jolly, but there were two very nearly gone — one 
almost, and the other quite insensible. The doctor 
said they could not possibly last more than three or 
four days. A German was down with the disease, 
but I did not see him. Only about four Europeans 
have died from it up to now. We had on board a 
first-class passenger, an Italian, bound for his native 
land, whom the German military doctor at Bukoba 
has pronounced infected. I shall endeavour to ascer- 
tain his future.* There is nothing to indicate to 
the ordinary eye that anything is wrong at present, 
but the glands of the neck are, I believe, the in- 
falhble tell-tale. 

* Apparently he was wrongly diagnosed, for after remaining 
some months in his home at Florence he returned to East 
Africa. — CCh. de C. 



280 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

" At the hospital they have about forty monkeys 
inoculated. About half die inside two months, the 
remainder being considerably emaciated before re- 
covery. I wonder if your home doctors know any- 
thing about it ? 

" Bukoba, which is gradually developing, is of a 
certain historical interest, as the officers' quarters were 
built by Emin Pasha, and there are the remains of a 
camping ground once occupied by him and Stanley. 

'' Glass being a scarce commodity, the windows of 
the messroom, and commander's quarters are filled in 
with old photograph plates. 

" On the 18th we arrived at Muanga, the German 
station at the south end of the lake. It is in a 
magnificent rocky position, and almost completely 
landlocked, which is decidedly a consideration when 
it blows hard. 

** Both crocodiles and hippopotami swarm. They 
are far more plentiful than foxes in Essex. 

" Yesterday, when washing clothes, a native was 
killed close to where we are now anchored. The 
German Commandant was promptly on the spot 
with his rifle, so the remains of victim and crocodile, 
minus his head, received simultaneous burial. 

" A singular incident happened on board the boat 
a few months ago. A 14J-foot python crawled up 
our gangway when at Pt. Florence, close on mid- 
night, and was shot by the chief officer. The body 
sank, but was fished up with a boat-hook, and the 
python's skin is now in the possession of the captain's 
wife." 

I see I made a slight error in my last entry. The 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 281 

Soudanese patrol was sent south of Njoro, not north. 
The fact is, I find it much more difficult to ascertain 
the points of the compass when bang under the 
equator — I have crossed it three times during the 
last few days — than in our northern latitude, though 
at night one can see both the Great Bear and the 
Southern Cross. 

"May 20, 1905. 

" Yesterday a Hampshire sportsman and I en- 
deavoured to revenge the death of the native, and, 
I think, may fairly claim to have done so. First 
disturbing a small colony of monkeys from an india- 
rubber tree, which had been freely tapped by natives 
for the valuable sap, we took up our position in the 
shade above some rocks on which the crocodiles would 
be likely to sun themselves. Unfortunately for us, 
whatever we killed fell into the water, especially a 
large lizard, whose body I was particularly anxious 
to recover, as its hide makes excellent handbags, 
etc. ; but, alas, he doubtless made a recherche supper 
for a voracious crocodile. 

" We shall probably finish our ' round-the-lake ' 
cruise on Wednesday, the 24th, and on the following 
day I shall hope to return to the happy hunting 
grounds of the plains round Nairobi. 

"S.S. 'Sybil' Bukoba, June 2, 1905. 

" The Sotik punitive expedition, under Major Pope 
Henessey, K.O. Rifles, was previously inspected and 
addressed by Sir Donald Stewart, K.C.M.G., who was 
accompanied by his A.D.C., and rode with them for 
the first four miles, witnessing how the men took up 
their positions when the * Alert ' was sounded. His 



282 FOETY YEARS OF A SPOETSMAN'S LIFE 

Excellency found the force drawn up in the most 
imposing formation — 600 Masai warriors in a single 
line near Njoro Station, in the shape of a balloon with 
neck and valve open, the post of honour being held 
by forty lion-killers, with their lion-skin head dresses, 
shaped like Life Guards' helmets. To the south- 
west, in quarter column, were six officers and 235 
K.O. Eifles. The advance was also witnessed by 
Lord and Lady Delamere (the latter riding with us 
for some miles). Lord Cole, Mr. Jackson, the Sub- 
Commissioner, and Mrs. Jackson. The first day's 
march was an easy one of eight miles, so as not to 
distress the porters, and our route through the forest 
was facilitated by trees which had been blazed last 
December. It was pretty rough walking through 
virgin forest, composed principally of cedar and 
juniper trees, with exceptionally thick undergrowth. 

" Having arrived at our camping-ground, we at 
once proceeded to form a double zareba of about 
seventy-five yards square with barbed wire outside, 
and the troops and levies were warned of their night 
duties. 

" I was rather amused when some young warriors 
were ordered to reduce the interval between them- 
selves and the group on their left. ' Not likely,' they 
replied, as the men on that flank were old warriors, 
who would steal their rations during the night. 

" A Masai warrior is not supposed to drink during 
the day, when on the war-path, though I saw some 
of them with their heads in a stream and then wiping 
their lips ; so they make up for their self-denial by 
filling the skins of the bullocks killed that day and 
mixing with the water the bark of cedar crushed with 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 283 

a knobkerry. Let's hope it tastes better than it 
looks. 

" Our camping-grounds are somewhat similar — an 
open grass plot with a few scattered clumps, near a 
stream, inside a frame of splendid forest timber, our 
zareba being out of arrow-range from the belt. 

" We naturally hoped to be attacked by daylight, 
so that after the rifles and maxims have done their 
work our levies may annihilate them with the spear. 

" In the course of a day or two we hope to be 
joined by two attachments, which will make up our 
strength to 400 rifles and 900 spears. The estimated 
strength of the enemy is between 3,000 and 6,000, 
one-third with bows and arrows, and two-thirds with 
spears. 

" It is improbable that we shall be attacked by 
daylight, failing which we are in hopes that it may be 
on the night of Monday, June 5 ; and I hope that our 
outer zareba may be, as it is to-day, composed of 
bamboo, near which we are encamped (and through 
which we marched, it being fully forty feet high), 
and barbed wire, as this will give both bayonets 
and spears, who are mixed alternately, an excellent 
chance ; but I do not suppose our levies will be allowed 
to pursue in the dark. 

" The tents of the CO. and myself are placed in 
the front face, between the two zarebas, immediately 
behind a maxim. 

** We are packed fairly close inside our seventy-five- 
yards square, for in addition to the rifles and levies 
we have 200 porters and 200 cattle. 

" The Masais laager inside their spears and shields, 
in groups of about a dozen, and keep their fires going, 



284 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

rain or no rain, all night long — which must be com- 
forting as there is frost every night, we being at an 
altitude of 9,000 feet — but till the fires get red-hot 
the smoke is rather trying to European eyes. 

" Our casualties up to now are one porter deserted, 
and two soldiers wounded by a cartridge exploded in 
a camp fire. 

" June 4, 

" We arrived to-day at what we call ' Fort Barrett,' 
the zareba having been built by a captain of that 
name in the K.O.R. It is situated above the farm 
of a settler named Nielson, who is acting as our scout 
in the Sotik country, and on a huge roUing plateau 
adjoining the Sotik forest. 

" From what we can gain from our prisoners we 
may commence exchanging shots in about two days. 

" Kericho, Kisumu Province, June 26, 1905. 

" The duties of the above force are nearly at an 
end, and it will probably concentrate at Molo, on the 
Uganda Railway, about July 3 or 4, with the re- 
mainder of the cattle, sheep, and goats. 

*' I had to leave to fulfil an engagement to a big 
game shoot on the Athi River and plain, and shall 
arrive at Nairobi on the 28th. 

" Major Pope Hennessy, K.A.R., may be con- 
gratulated on having done all that might have been 
expected of a capable leader and experienced bush- 
fighter, and he was ably seconded by those immedi- 
ately under him — officers from nearly a dozen British 
regiments, now attached to the 3rd Battalion 
K.A.R. 



\ 




FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 285 

" The results are, so far, roughly as follows, but the 
total will probably be augmented during the next 
few days : Cattle, 1,500 ; goats and sheep, 4,000 ; 
Sotiks killed, 50. The last item we had hoped to 
make 500, but its accomplishment was somewhat 
difficult, as our progress was not unlike that of the 
Turks and Greeks, viz. :— ' One army marching while 
the other ran away.' 

" The captives will at any rate pay the expenses 
of the expedition, and reimburse our friendly Masais 
for their loss in killed, captives, and cattle when 
raided by the Sotiks. It will also be a lesson to the 
latter, but whether a sufficiently severe one or not 
will rest with H.M. Commissioner. 

" There can be but little doubt that the Lumbwa 
and Boret tribes, to whom the Sotiks are related, 
though ostensibly friendly to us, connived at the 
cattle of the latter being driven into their comitries. 

"It is more than likely that ere long a stronger 
force, say two battalions, divided into four columns, 
may have to give all three a nasty knock before 
settlers will invest in land in these parts ; also that 
the Nandi tribe will throw in their lot with their 
coloured brethren. 

" In parts our advance was extremely difficult, 
even for officers who had no weights to carry except 
their revolvers. They were wearing nailed shooting- 
boots, and had both hands free to hang on to bamboos 
when climbing up or sliding down narrow paths at an 
angle of 45 degrees. You can understand what the 
strain must have been on the porters with their 
naked feet and 60-lb. loads. 

" At times we advanced perhaps half a mile in the 



286 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

hour when cutting our way through the virgin forest ; 
at other times, in the open on an old game track, we 
put in three miles an hour. Then, again, we might 
march for hours over prairie composed of long grass, 
dotted at irregular intervals with small clumps of 
timber and bush. 

" The distances of our marches varied as much 
as did the nature of the ground. 

" As an example, I will take the last two days 
between the Sotik Post and this station. Having 
encamped close to a waterfall thirteen miles from the 
former — there are twenty-six rivers and streams 
between the two — we marched from 2.45 a.m. till 
past 11 a.m. (I don't think these primitive hours 
would suit some of our lardy-dardy swells who have 
been slap-dashing at Ascot during the past week.) 
After about six miles, my section, consisting of 31 
rifles and 9 porters, headed for this station, while 
the main body swung to the right towards the Mau 
Escarpment. On arriving here a scout says that I 
did them a good turn, for a body of the enemy with 
cattle, who intended circling round Kericho into 
Boret country, immediately on seeing me, turned 
sharp to the right towards Mau, and, I hope, into the 
Major's arms. 

" Before reaching my camping-ground on the 
Merri-Merri river, I met a Soudanese officer with some 
rifles, Masai levies, a prisoner, and some captured 
goats, three of which I annexed for my men's 
dinner, a luxury which they appreciated, as they 
had nothing but a little flour and rice in their 
haversacks. 

" Starting at daylight, which is some considerable 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 287 

time before sunrise, I got here in a little over four 
hours. 

" As a proof that the show is not exactly grouse-pie 
and '92 Moet, I had to do it on a tiny piece of dry 
bread and a few spoonfuls of cold coffee out of a 
jagged sardine tin, so my waistbelt was fairly loose 
when I met the collector, Mr. Ainsworth, at the 
river which flows below the encampment. Although 
I had a pony, I think it always best to march with 
one's men. 

"Nairobi, July 21, 1905. 

" Having rested two days at Kericho, which is a 
small up-country station with a strong boma and 
two watch-towers, which would make it pretty secure 
from any ordinary attack, on July 27 I did the six- 
teen miles to Fort Ternan on the Uganda Railway 
in four and a half hours, which, considering that one 
escarpment was the stiffest going in the whole month's 
march, was not bad travelling on foot, and, I hope, 
justified the report of the corporal — whom I had 
sent on ahead two mornings previously to announce 
to the sub-collector the strength of the party he was 
to expect. On being asked the name of the officer in 
command, he replied, ' I don't know his name ; he 
may be an official from Nairobi or Mombasa ; he is a 
bit old, hut he can go.' 

" For the whole month, all day and every day, I 
wore a light pair of shooting-boots, by Dowie and 
Marshall, of the Strand, cut like ammunition boots, 
to facilitate pulling on and off in wet weather, and 
we crossed some forty streams ; they had Scafe's 
patent soles and about thirty medium-sized nails. 



288 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

and at the finish signs of wear and tear were almost 
imperceptible. 

" I have in my possession three photographs — a 
good one of Masai levies, and a moderate one of some 
K.A.R/s crossing a stream. The five former are 
lion-killers, and wear lion-skin head-dress, which I 
fancy must be pretty hot, as on one occasion I saw 
a warrior in charge of a prisoner making the latter 
wear it. One might have imagined it just as likely 
that Lord Roberts would tell off an orderly to carry 
his Field-Marshal's baton. I have also a photo- 
graph of Sir Donald Stewart's horse ' Whale,' on 
which I hope to win the steeplechase on the 29th 
inst. 

" I am pleased to hear that I succeeded, two days 
before reaching Kericho, in driving a considerable 
number of cattle towards Major Pope Hennessy, who 
captured them, which made the total of cows, bulls, 
and bullocks up to 2,400, and Sotiks killed nearly, 
if not quite, 100, including one biggish chief. This 
death occurred on the second day after we got in 
touch with them, though we did not know it at the 
time. I think he must have been killed by one of the 
patrols, as I was lying between the two maxims, and 
did not see him fall in the bush. 

" Our casualties were very few, though death 
from poisoned arrows was most painful. As an 
illustration the last Masai killed was shot from 
about ten paces through the shoulder into the lung. 
The doctor was close by, and in the extraction of 
the arrow the barb dragged a portion of lung out of 
the wounded man's back, and, though strychnine was 
at once injected, the man died shrieking with agony 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 28^ 

in under six minutes. And it takes a lot to make a 
Masai give tongue, as he is a gallant savage. 

" We all carried a bootlace as a ligature, in case we 
were hit on a limb, but of course it was useless for a 
body-hit, and the poison was nice and fresh, as each 
Sotik carried a species of small glue-pot, into which 
he dips the arrow-head before firing. 

" On July 27 and 29 the East Africa Turf Club 
held their annual races, which proved a complete 
success. I was fortunate enough to win three races 
of! the reel, including the first steeplechase ever run 
in British East Africa, on a horse called * The Whale,' 
the property of Sir Donald Stewart ; and the ovation 
the gallant little bay received as he romped in showed 
how that officer was appreciated by those under his 
command. In this race the Hon. B. Cole, an old 9th 
Lancer, took rather a nasty toss. His mount, in 
order to avoid a horse which had fallen in front of 
him, galloped through a wing, driving a stake into 
his jaw, from which two bits of bone had to be re- 
moved. 

" Lady de Crespigny arrived from Mombasa in 
time to attend the Commissioner's luncheon on the 
course before the first race of the second day, and 
to see family history repeated — viz. father and son 
sporting silk in the same race. 

"In the evening the Turf Club held a ball, which 
was a most brilliant success. 

" On the following Monday the King's African 
Rifles gave a gymkhana, at which one event was the 
Sotik Cup for the three Somali ponies which went 
through the expedition. It was almost reduced to 
a match, as early in the march the Major nearly lost 

19 



290 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

his pony, which fell into a deep cutting with a heavy- 
rush of water that nearly drowned it. The Ascaris 
buzzed round it like blue-bottle flies, but, though 
brave men, they are ignorant of handling horses. 
Rescue came in the form of a Gordon Highlander, a 
stalwart Ross-shire man, great at tug-of-war at the 
Strathpefler meeting, limbs like Donald Dinnie, the 
great caber-tosser and shot-putter in the 'sixties and 
'seventies. With a mighty heave, out came poor 
little ' Ha track,' as he was called, like a cork. 

" My mount swerving badly two or three times in 
the straight run in, I got beaten by a nose. However, 
a match was promptly arranged on the spot, which 
I won by a length. '^ 

The next entry in my diary is dated August 5, 
and runs as follows : — 

" August 5, 1905. 

" A wire has just been received from Voi, 220 miles 
from here, saying that two man-eating lions have 
created a panic in that neighbourhood, so my son 
and I are just of! to see if we cannot add their jackets 
to our collection. 

" The Sotik affair is practically ancient history. 
The Masai levies have received their share of the 
cattle, and the remainder are to be sold in Naivasha 
towards the end of the month. The war indemnity 
takes the form of the enemy making a road from 
the Sotik post to Molo Station. The success of the 
expedition seems to have established a panic among 
the Nandi chiefs, and what at one time looked rather 
like a heavy job is likely now to fizzle out. 

" Our trip to Voi was a failure, the lions not being 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 291 

properly located, and all the surrounding country 
was thick bush. Even in the comparatively thin 
portions of the bush, the knives of the savages had, 
at times, to be called into requisition. There was 
a considerable amount of various spoors, but as we 
saw but little game, it obviously harboured in the 
daytime in bush, which is impenetrable to an un- 
armoured pedestrian. My son got a long double 
snap-shot at two half -grown cubs, and killed a spitting 
snake. This reptile makes remarkably accurate shots 
up to five or six yards, going for the eyes. Those 
hit are blinded for a week — olive oil being about the 
best antidote. We saw a lioness half a mile from 
Simba (Swahili for lion) Station, just emerging from 
a bed of rushes for her evening prowl. At Voi I 
remained up all night on a chair. About half an hour 
before daylight a lion roared a quarter of a mile off, my 
son making almost as much row at my elbow snoring ; 
and a leopard took a crow, which I had shot on the 
previous afternoon, out of the compound. There was 
no moon. 

" We saw several rhinoceroses from the train. A 
few stations from here we were warned that one was 
viewed close to the railway on the south side, which is 
preserved, so we arranged for the train to be stopped 
for us and our gun-bearers, should he have crossed to 
the north and still be in sight. Unhappily he was 
grazing opposite mile 319, on the wrong side, and we 
had no horses. If we had had, we could have got 
him easily, as one of us could have hidden in the long 
grass on the north side while the other tickled him 
up with a Derringer or Mauser pistol, when he would 
have charged for a certainty. 



292 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

" This afternoon there is a cricket match on the 
Gymkhana ground, and a meeting of the Tent Club 
at the race stand, when those who prefer the pig- 
skin to leather-hunting will forgather. The meet 
may be a fairly big one, but most will only be on- 
lookers, and only four or five of us carry spears. 

" An Ascari in the Sotik expedition had a unique 
experience. He was a boy in Hicks Pasha's army 
when it was annihilated, became a Dervish, and fought 
against us at Omdurman, was recaptured by us, and 
is now a loyal soldier in the 3rd King's African 
Rifles." 

The following account of the Tent Club Meeting 
appeared in the Times of East Africa : — 

*' The inaugural meet of the above was at the 
Grand Stand on the racecourse, adjoining which to 
the E.N.E. is what is locally known as the Pig- 
Ground. 

" There were present at the meet Lady Champion 
de Crespigny, Mrs. Stordy, and Mr. and Mrs. Russell 
Bowker on wheels and mounted. Sir Claude and 
Captain V. Champion de Crespigny, A.D.C., Messrs. 
Percival and Griess, with spears, and Mr. and Miss 
Allen, Mrs. Sanderson, Messrs. Kenyon Slaney, Allen 
Watson, Buckland (an old Master of the Bombay 
hounds and veteran pig-sticker) and Goldfinch, with- 
out spears. We were not far clear of the racecourse, 
when several pigs were on foot, unfortunately one 
grand tusker slipping away across the open near 
Lady de Crespigny 's carriage, unviewed, or from the 
line he took, he would have led us over the best of 
galloping ground in the neighbourhood with short 
grass, so we had to content ourselves with less noble 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 293 

quarry, each selecting his own pig. Our bursts were 
short, but though we succeeded in turning several 
pigs, the long grass towards the papyrus fairly beat 
us. 

After a short dart after a cheetah, who was again 
favoured by the tussocks and high grass, we formed 
line for a fresh draw — a big boar plunging through 
the barbed wire and gaining on us by crossing a 
watercourse, got unsighted after leading us about a 
mile ; but a fresh pig almost immediately springing 
up we raced after it, the A.D.C. on the ' Whale,* who 
was none the worse for his gallant victory on Saturday, 
getting first spear within yard of an earth. 

" ' After scratching away for a quarter of an hour 
a hind leg was espied, when the A.D.C. promptly took 
a header into the bowels of the earth, his boots just 
protruding — these were immediately seized by the 
Game Ranger, and after a desperate tug for dear 
life out came ten feet of trooper and wartling. The 
brindle hound Jack and two other dogs settling some 
little difference, hurricane fighting over the soldier's 
body, as he was being extracted, as if they hadn't got 
the whole of the Athi plains adjoining for an arena. 

" ' So ended a pleasant afternoon's ride ; but in a 
week's time when more grass has been burnt, we may 
anticipate some ripping gallops.' 

" On August 17, the Commissioner's party of five 
left for a ' Safari ' which had been anticipated for 
some little time, with no little pleasure, though for 
Sir Donald himself a considerable amount of duty was 
blended with it — inspecting stations, their accounts, 
police, etc., settling boundaries, receiving chiefs with 
their followers, and numerous and various presents. 



294 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

the latter of which inchided enough live stock to set 
up a menagerie. 

" The principal chiefs were Karuni, Murad and 
Kabala Bala, the latter being as fine a specimen of 
fighting Masai as I have ever clapped eyes upon, a 
leader who would instil the most implicit confidence 
in his followers had he the chance of leading a forlorn 
hope or a second Balaclava charge. To this day they 
talk of his indomitable courage when, after being left 
for dead with his skull smashed in, eye kicked out, 
lower part of ear cut off, he crawled — travelling by 
night for many nights subsisting on sugar-cane — back 
to his native kraal. 

" A party of friends awaited us at the drive leading 
up to the ' Homestead," and waved us ' bon voyage.* 
Our next check was at the admirably arranged farm 
of Messieurs Felix and Faure, which showed every 
indication of a most prosperous future, on to our 
first camp at Kiambu. In the evening we tried for 
duck, but only got a ducking, as rain came down in 
torrents. 

" Our * Safari ' lasted five weeks, and took us over 
a great variety of ground. It would be useless to go 
through it in detail, as much of the country has not 
been mapped, and the camping-grounds which were 
logged were mainly local names. 

" The creme de la creme of the shooting was ex- 
pected on the trans-Tana plains, and such proved to 
be the case ; but you must not judge of what we did 
kill by what we might have killed. Our grandchildren 
have to be thought of, so our licences limit us, among 
other things, to two rhinos, one bull buffalo, and one 
bull eland. There are heavy penalties for making 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 295 

mistakes, some of which are extremely difficult to 
avoid, with forfeiture of trophies. In long grass, etc., 
it is at times almost impossible to distinguish the 
sexes, especially in the case of single beasts. Should 
you come across a herd of elands, there is not much 
difficulty in picking out the bulls, as they are so much 
bluer in colour. 

" The best of Italian sportsmen, the Marquis of 
Pizzardi, who joined us for a day or two, had recently 
made a mistake in killing a barren cow buffalo, which 
he at once reported in the most honourable sportsman- 
like manner. He had, of course, to pay his fine, and 
there was a good deal of friendly badinage over it, but 
he was greatly pleased when the Commissioner said 
he might keep the head. If an old Shikari, like him, 
makes a genuine mistake, how much more liable would 
a man of lesser experience ! I have rarely come across 
a better sportsman. He left the Italian Cavalry to 
kill the man who had killed his brother, and I shall 
hope to see him in London, as he has accepted an 
invitation for a night at the National Sporting Club. 
This, apparently, he thinks may prove somewhat 
insipid, as he is particularly anxious to witness an 
old-fashioned knuckle-fight. 

" Our Askaris have wonderful sight, and love their 
masters to fire at something, and as they do not 
have to pay the fines, are not very particular at what, 
especially as they invariably get as much as they 
want of the flesh, of which they can consume huge 
quantities. In fact there is a tradition that one des- 
cribed a kongoni, which weighs at least 150 lbs., as an 
unsatisfactory sort of a beast, being ' rather too much 
for one man to eat, but not enough for two." 



296 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

" On one occasion we saw a head poking out of 
some long grass, which my gun-bearer solemnly 
affirmed was a bull buffalo, so I took up a position on a 
slight incline, sending three or four men — we gener- 
ally had some porters handy to carry in the game — to 
beat up to me. Soon I could see the high grass waving 
as some big beast advanced towards me, and then out 
came, within easy shot, a cow-rhino and calf. Of 
course, as she did not charge me, I did not fire. 

" Close to this spot I shot a bush buck. It lay on 
the ground apparently dying. When my Askaris 
went up to cut its throat, it sprang up, and with 
difficulty staggered into some high grass close by, the 
three of us plunging in after it, when out rushed three 
rhinos, one of my Askaris throwing himself into a 
hollow in the ground to avoid having daylight drilled 
through him. 

" My son and I were each charged twice, and I 
think that two of the rhinos were as close as they well 
could be without serious, if not fatal, damage. 

" On the first occasion the A.D.C. was riding 
across an almost dry water bed to join Mr. Slaney 
and myself, as a lion had just been viewed ahead, 
when a savage grunt in the long grass just enabled 
his horse to swerve in time to avoid the charge, the 
horn missing the rider's leg by two or three feet. 

" The rhino having ascended a hill towards some 
plains, I galloped after it on the hurdle-racer Mary, 
hoping to make rings round it till the others came 
up with their rifles, but unfortunately he turned sharp 
round to the left into some impenetrable jungle, and 
was lost to us. 

" That afternoon we had some remarkably good 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 297 

guinea-fowl shooting at Elder's Camp, where we met 
Mr. Swift, a settler, looking none the worse for a 
really nasty fall which he got in the Nairobi Steeple- 
chase. As I passed him at the fourth fence from 
home he was lying flat on his face knocked out, 
and one foot hung up in the stirrup. 

*' The next time we were charged we were close 
together, on the line of a wounded buffalo, when a cow 
and calf, which we had previously passed, moved from 
the scent of some porters and came top speed bang 
into our party of ten. Of course we only had soft- 
nosed bullets in our rifles, which have as a rule about 
as much effect on a rhino as a peashooter. To within 
three paces she was coming straight at me, and I was 
just about to drop my rifle and play the amateur 
matador, when she swerved slightly to her left, 
which gave me the chance of a neck shot, of which 
naturally I was prompt to avail myself, and at two 
paces from the muzzle of my "303 she fell stone-dead 
with her neck broken, the A.D.C. being about the same 
distance on the other side. Of course her poor little 
calf blindly charged in her wake, and a fool of an 
Askari shot it, though Colonel Harrison shouted to 
him not to fire. This was a thousand pities, as it 
would have been worth many hundreds of pounds if it 
could have been reared by hand, which could have 
probably been done, as Chief Murad had a large herd 
of cows a few miles off. 

" The next occasion was not such a close affair, a 
rhino having spoilt my shoulder-shot by swinging its 
head towards me as I pressed the trigger, so my 
bullet only caused amioyance, and it charged. How- 
ever, another shot at thirty yards, followed by a solid 



298 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

from my jungle gun at fifteen, and the gallant beast 
bit the dust. 

" If you are wrong for the wind, a rhino's sense 
of smell is marvellous. On one occasion the A.D.C. 
and I, when riding alone after eland, saw a rhino lying 
in the grass on the farther side of a valley. When 
we were fully a quarter of a mile off it suddenly got 
our wind, sprang up, and made off. They are almost 
blind, their eyes being of hardly any service to them 
beyond a very few yards range. 

" The last rhino which I shot must have winded 
our mixed bag of porters at least half a mile off, 
which, if you only knew them, would not surprise 
you ; they are highly pungent. 

" Then again, if you are down wind it is surprising 
how close you can get to them. On one occasion we 
suddenly came on a cow and a calf, when the A.D.C. 
crept close up to them with his camera, I standing 
over him with a rifle in case they charged, and he got 
quite a good snapshot, before they winded us and 
bolted in the opposite direction. 

" Some time back I mentioned the vitality of a bush 
buck. All the gazelles possess it to an extraordinary 
extent. As an example, one day the A.D.C. knocked 
over a fine impalla, with, so far as one can judge, a 
beautifully placed bullet just over the shoulder-blade, 
but it was hardly on the ground before it was up and 
off. In answer to his shout, ' Try and cut it off/ I, 
being the better mounted, did my best for fully four 
miles over rough ground, the blood pouring down 
both shoulder-blades. As the impalla in no way 
slackened its pace and I had lost my party, and was 
riding directly from our camp, I reluctantly reined 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 299 

up. No doubt when the wounded beast once lay down 
it would get stiff and become food for hyenas, etc. 
Riding my own heelway, and using a powerful whistle, 
I eventually met my party. It is no joke getting lost 
in the jungle without food or water ; but it is worse 
still if you take a toss and lose your horse, which is 
just as likely to join the first herd of zebra it comes 
across — and there are plenty of them — for it is im- 
probable that a search party would be sent out till 
the following morning. A horse did this at Naivasha 
about five weeks before Nairobi races, and it was a 
month before he was caught, and uncommonly lean 
he was, too, about the ribs. Nevertheless, much 
to our astonishment, judiciously ridden by his owner 
Mr. Seymour, late 3rd Hussars, he won his race. 

" Naturally, there is very little twilight under the 
equator, so if you mistake your distance from camp 
it is easy to find yourself let in for a long, rough ride 
over ground nearly, though not quite, so bad as where 
we were pig-sticking last year in Morocco. The 
acumen of the horses in picking their way, hardly 
ever putting a foot wrong, proves them to be a long 
way in front, in intelligence, of many so-called 
Christians. 

'* Of one rough ride I have a vivid recollection, 
though it was a daylight one, but the A.D.C. had to 
do it some hdurs afterwards in the dark. After a long 
stalk, he had got a magnificent buffalo with a clean 
shot through the throat. 

** He remained with it while I rode off to the camp, 
many miles off, for porters, piloted by a Kikuyu guide. 
After going for about a mile I came across a herd of 
eland, headed by a real ' monarch of the glen,' which 



300 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

I fortunately got in one shot. Our lucky star must 
have been in the ascendant that day, as we got a 
rhino, a buffalo, and an eland all with single shots, 
and all with soft-nosed 'SOS's. I think that eland 
will prove to be a Tana record, though Mr. Jackson 
killed one of better measurement near Mount Kili- 
manjaro, which is to German East Africa what Kenya 
is to British. We had some splendid views of the 
latter when in the Nyeri district. 

" Kenya was climbed a few years ago, with the 
greatest difficulty, by some members of the Alpine 
Club. 

'* Continuing my ride, I eventually reached camp, 
having left an Askari with the dead eland, but as it 
was then long past lunch-time I knew that those who 
were left out with the game, and those who were 
despatched to bring it in, could not possibly be back 
till long after sundown ; so as soon as it was dark, I 
kept a big fire going, and at intervals coloured rockets 
were sent up. We could just hear the A.D.C. 
answer them with shots from his revolver. How- 
ever, all duly arrived after a hard day's work. 

" A wart-hog is another gallant beast, which will, 
at times, carry away an enormous amount of lead, 
and go for you if wounded. As an example, one after- 
noon we were on our way to try for hippopotami, 
three jumped up in long grass and started to race 
past us, I being at the time eighty yards behind 
the A.D.C, cut the throat of one who rolled over 
without a motion, a fluky shot ; the A.D.C. wounded 
a sow, who at once charged the gun-bearer standing 
to his right ; a second shot made an awful mess 
of her shoulder, but did not stop her ; but a third, 




p. 300] 



A FINE ELAND. 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 301 

through her head, killed her stone-dead at the gun- 
bearer's feet. 

" We had two charming dogs out with us, known 
as ' Jack ' and ' Toto,' belonging to Mr. Hyde Baker, 
a nephew of Sir Samuel of that ilk, the great traveller 
and game shot. Mr. Baker being on leave in England, 
they were left in charge of the A.D.C. ' Jack ' has 
been a great fighter in his day, and has many honour- 
able scars. He hasf been mauled both by lion and 
leopard, and a tope once drove its horn in by the back 
ribs, travelling along the body, and coming out behind 
the shoulders. Notwithstanding these vicissitudes, 
such is his strength, that if once he can pin a wart-hog 
in an earth, and a man can grip his hind legs, out 
come both dog and pig. 

" His various encounters have made him a little 
less reckless than in his salad days, for I noticed on 
one occasion, when I had rolled over rather a fine 
Neumann hartebeeste, two hundred yards from the 
column, out dashed the dogs, for the word * discipline' 
was not in their vocabulary. The old campaigner 
allowed his younger and less experienced companion 
to seize, with the courage of ignorance, the wounded 
antelope by the throat, while he worried at the other 
end. 

" The amount of game of various species, which 
we could kill, was practically unlimited, the water- 
buck being distinctly the grandest ; but, unless we 
wanted a particular trophy, we waited till we got 
fairly close to our new camping-ground, as the porters 
had first to carry their 60-lb. load from camp to camp, 
and then go back to carry in the venison, of which 
they invariably received a liberal portion. 



302 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

" We had no luck with the lions ; in fact, not a 
shot was fired at one. In addition to the one seen by 
Mr. Slaney, we saw a lioness and cub at the end of 
our march half a mile from mile-post 400 on the 
Uganda Railway, but before the mounted men could 
get up to her she had disappeared in the bush. 

" Our big-game bag consisted of 8 rhino, 1 hippo, 
3 buffalo, and 4 eland. I was allowed a third rhino, 
as the one which gratuitously charged us had poor 
horns, and was only shot in self-defence, and I was 
lucky to get the hippo, my first bullet catching it 
above the nostrils, and the second under the eye, 
which turned it feet upwards at once. If you only 
mortally wound them, and they sink, they take, 
sometimes, many hours to rise, and you lose them if 
on the march. This happened at Meranga, where 
Sir Donald got his only rhino. My son and I pumped 
no end of lead into the head of an obviously dying 
hippo. The next morning the natives reported that 
there was not one dead ; but as we had marched they 
had probably eaten it, as they fight like wolves over 
the flesh, or maybe they were afraid to cross to a 
shallow hidden in an island, for on my return a week 
later the number of vultures perched on adjoining 
trees indicated that a carcase was close by. 

" Some of our dishes might astonish whomso- 
ever may be the successor of the great Soyer, of 
Crimean fame — such as rhino and hippo-tail soup, 
ostrich-egg omelette, eland and kongoni marrow- 
bone, etc. 

" There can be no mistake about British East 
Africa being a grand country with a great future, 
and, if the present game regulations are strictly 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 303 

enforced, for many years to come a sportsman's 
happy hunting-ground. 

" Personally I may consider myself extremely 
fortunate, for, as a Government officer remarked to 
me, ' During your five months' stay you have done far 
more in the way of sport than I have in five years/ 

" The pleasure I had derived from the excellent 
sport obtained during my trip in East Africa was sadly 
marred by the news of Sir Donald Stewart's death, 
which we received by cable on the voyage home. 

" His death was not only a grievous loss to those 
who could count him among their personal friends, 
but a serious blow to British rule in East Africa. It 
was once said of him, and with perfect truth, that 
what he did not know of protecting and governing 
the peoples of Africa was scarcely worth troubling 
about. He had only been fourteen months in the 
Protectorate at the time of his death, but he had in 
that short time acquired a thorough grasp of the 
requirements of this part of His Majesty's dominions. 
He was quick to realise that if that country was to 
become a white man's country, some drastic changes 
must be introduced. With that conviction fixed in 
his mind, he lost no time in appointing Commissions 
to enquire into the working of the Land Laws, the 
Labour Question, and that of Education. 

" His policy with regard to the natives was one in 
accordance with the belief that a firm and just policy 
is not only in the interest of good government, but 
also in the end the more humane and for the benefit 
of the natives themselves. The expedition against 
the Sotik was a case in point. He took a keen 
interest also in the welfare of the settlers, and the 



304 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

development of the agricultural resources of the 
Protectorate. 

" His experience of the African continent was 
unique in its way, and full of excitement and variety. 
On the Gold Coast his strong personality and pluck 
brought him safely through many dangers. On one 
occasion he and his escort were surrounded by a 
threatening horde of savages. Luckily, Sir Donald 
kept his head, and refrained from giving the order 
to his followers to fire. Had he done so the chances 
are that he and his escort would have been annihilated 
to a man. But he didn't, and that particular native 
rising was put down by a liberal use of Sir Donald's 
stick. 

" He was a chivalrous friend, and the kindest and 
most courteous of hosts. He was always most 
thoughtful and considerate for the feelings of others. 
An incident that occurred before I left Africa will 
illustrate this. On September 22 I accompanied 
him on his last ride, when he visited Mr. Percival's 
to inspect some of his trophies. On his way home he 
mentioned feeling a bit feverish, and did not turn up 
to dinner that night. The following night there was 
to be a dinner-party, a little farewell to my wife and 
self, with the King's African Rifles band. This he 
insisted should take place, though he was too ill to 
attend it, adding that the sound of the band would 
cheer him up. But for once in a way his orders were 
disobeyed." 

The entry which I see I made in my diary con- 
cerning the Nandis, turned out to be absolutely correct, 
and the expedition started soon after I had left for 
home. Major Pope Hennessy, who was in command 



FIGHTING AND SPORT IN EAST AFRICA 305 

of one of the columns, afterwards purchased Sir 
Donald Stewart's gallant little horse " The Whale," 
on which, as will be remembered, I won the Nairobi 
Steeplechase, 

The Nandi rising looked serious at the outset. 
News of Sir Donald Stewart's death reached the Wa 
Nandi with all the wonderful speed of native com- 
munication, and was made the occasion of a great 
baraza, at which, according to the account brought by 
a native, the head Hybon promised his excited people 
success, and taking a live goat, first cut off the tail, 
saying, " Such is the injury the English have wrought 
on us," and then hacked off the head, crying, " So have 
I done to them — I have slain their great lord," 

My fourth son, Vierville, who was with this ex- 
pedition, had a somewhat exciting adventure with a 
lioness, while after big game. As he came up to the 
lioness, his horse, frightened by a sudden roar from 
the latter, bolted, and the saddle slipping round, my 
son fell, one of his feet sticking in the stirrup ; and 
he was dragged a considerable distance. However, 
his foot came out in the nick of time, just as the 
lioness sprang at him, and he was able to roll her 
over about fifteen yards off. 

I retain very pleasant recollections of East Africa 
as a " happy hunting-ground," and would ask nothing 
better than to take another trip there after big game 
one of these days. But even the best of things must 
come to an end, and so, after several glorious months, 
I duly returned to England and civilisation once 
more. 



20 



CHAPTER XII 

RACING BY LAND AND AIR 

TUST after I got back from East Africa my son 
Raul brought of! a double victory at the Alder- 
shot meeting in November, 1905, winning the Open 
Military Steeplechase with Bay Duchess, ridden by his 
elder brother (and a very fine race he rode, too !) and 
the Three-year-old Hurdle Race with Warner. The 
last was an unexpected victory, as Lady Dunmow 
was a prime favourite. A little later, at Warwick, 
I rode his horse Prince Talleyrand in the Debdale 
Maiden National Hunt Flat Race, finishing second to 
Mr. 0. H. Jones's Armature. 

There was a good deal of discussion about this 
time concerning the growing scarcity of " soldier 
jockeys." There is no doubt, as I said at the time, 
that this is largely due to the fact that in these days 
the gentleman rider does not work half hard enough 
in riding in his early morning gallops. As the late 
Jack Jones once put it, " These soldier officers eat 
a big dinner, go to the theatre, with supper to follow, 
send their servants with their kit-bags to Sandown, and 
then think they can get up and ride races." Person- 
ally, as I have remarked before, I have always been a 
glutton for hard exercise, as the only prescription for 

306 



RACING BY LAND AND AIR 307 

keeping really fit ; and to this I attribute my success 
in being able to ride for such a great length of time 
without getting knocked up. The regular use every 
morning of clubs and dumb-bells — the latter varying 
between two and fifty-six pounds — works wonders in 
this respect, and a cold tub before breakfast may be 
held indispensable to a man who wants to keep 
himself in first-class condition. But, in addition to 
this, I am constantly taking more severe exercise in a 
variety of forms. Cutting furze with a bill-hook, 
in the little gorse just outside my house, is capital 
exercise ; so is thinning out the branches of various 
trees on the place that need attention. Quite lately 
a friend tells me he was staggered at the reply made 
to the query, " Is Sir Claude in ? " " He's up a tree, 
sir." I was hacking away at an old willow, about 
the most awkward wood there is to cut, owing to its 
sponginess. 

Pedestrianism is another means by which I manage 
to keep myself " fit " all the year round. On most 
days I do a little mild running, something in the way 
of a " jog trot." Many sportsmen regard walking 
with genuine horror ; but for myself, I have always 
been very fond of it, whether on a solitary tramp or 
with a companion. A short while ago I took a walk 
from my home in Essex up to the Grand Hotel, 
London, a distance of forty-five miles, winning there- 
by a wager of no less than half-a-crown ; whilst 
between breakfast and luncheon I trudged over to a 
friend's one morning, a distance of twenty-six miles or 
so. Even more recently it was suggested to me that 
I should back myself, without any special training, 
to walk fifty miles in a day along an ordinary high 



308 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN^S LIFE 

road. The reply was that I would certainly do so 
any day for a moderate stake. The task ought not 
to be a difficult one, especially in decent weather. 
Years ago I Used to do a great deal of walking in 
London, rarely — unless greatly pressed for time or 
encumbered with luggage — resorting to a conveyance. 
In about a year I walked the best part of two thou- 
sand miles of London pavement. 

But apart from the question of keeping fit, it seems 
to me that there is less nowadays of that healthy 
spirit of rivalry which formerly animated the best 
" gentleman riders," such as " Bay " Middleton, 
Wenty Hope-Johnstone, and Captain L. H. Jones. 

Says the Daily Telegraph of December 5, 1905, in 
commenting on this subject : 

" A wealth of interesting matter could be written 
around the riding careers of famous amateurs of the 
past, amongst the most sincerely regretted of whom 
was Captain Middleton, a man of a type seldom 
met with nowadays. He was universally liked, was 
passionately fond of the sport, and rode with a deter- 
mination and skill born of genuine enthusiasm. If he 
had a fault as a rider it was that he invariably spurred 
his mount in the shoulder, being apparently unable 
to sit his horse without turning his toes out. His 
name will always be associated with that of Lord of 
the Harem, upon whom he won races innumerable. 
The horse was, however, more than once steered to 
victory by Captain Hope-Johnstone, whose triumphs 
on Champion are still fresh in the memory. In one 
season he won no fewer than ten races on the old 
grey, who became quite an idol with the public, 
not only on account of his gameness, but also because 



RACING BY LAND AND AIR 309 

of the striking figure he cut when galloping in a field 
of horses. His colour, together with his long, flowing 
tail, gave rise to the curious impression that he was 
flying over the fences like a swallow, if such a simile 
can be formulated. Captain Hope- Johnstone, for a 
tall man, was a very graceful horseman, and few have 
had an experience which was so long and varied. 
He more than once steered five winners in the day ; 
though Mr. Arthur Yates, now so rotund of person, 
at Kingsbury, many years ago rode in seven events 
and won them all. The two gentlemen named once 
had a close contest for premiership amongst success- 
ful jockeys, and two better or more representative 
specimens of the bona fide amateur could not be found. 
One of the most brilliant jockeys of his time was 
Captain ' Roddy ' Owen, and it will be readily con- 
ceded that a man required to have developed more than 
than average ability to be able to hold his own with the 
brothers Beasley, Mr. Arthur Coventry, Mr. G. Lamb- 
ton, Captain L. H. Jones, and Captain W. B. Morris. 
In later years it is questionable if he had a superior, 
either amateur or professional ; and, furthermore, he 
was an excellent judge of the game, as was evidenced 
by his choosing to ride Father O'Flynn in the Grand 
National in the face of several eligible mounts which 
were offered to him. Mr. Arthur Coventry, the 
present starter, built up a great reputation, and was 
equally at home on the flat or over a country, one of 
his most notable victories being that gained on Bell- 
ringer, in the Grand National Hunt Steeplechase at 
Derby, when Mr. E. P. Wilson was second on Golden 
Cross and Captain Middleton third on Minotaur. 
Other well-known amateurs who rode in that race 



310 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

may be mentioned in Mr. W. R. Owen and Mr. C. J. 
Cunningham. 

" A very fine horseman, and one who was prominent 
for a lengthy period of years, was Captain ' Doggy ' 
Smith, who rode Game Chicken to victory in the 
Grand National Hunt Steeplechase in 1864, and was 
riding in the Grand National at Liverpool so late as 
1882. To be precise he piloted Zoedone into third 
place, behind Seaman and Cyrus, the horse winning 
the ' blue riband ' twelve months later, in the 
hands of its owner. Count Kinsky. It was said that 
Captain Smith would ride anything, and not only was 
he an admirable steeplechase jockey, but no one went 
straighter to hounds, and he was on all kinds of 
strange animals. Captain Bewicke, who appeared 
in the saddle to within quite recently, stood out by 
himself, whilst the late lamented Captain Reginald 
Ward represented the very best kind of amateur 
rider. He was always inspired by an enthusiastic 
devotion to steeplechasing for its own sake, as was 
shown by his plucky purchase of Cathal, and his 
gallant attempts to win the Grand National on him. 
The disappearance of such men creates a void which 
it is not easy to fill, and one can only regret that the 
glories of steeplechasing are not so pronounced as was 
the case when those enumerated above were notable 
figures in the land of sport. Even the universities 
used to produce riders of ability, and Mr. Harry 
Custance, most esteemed of old-time jockeys, tells of 
four undergraduates who regularly came over from 
Cambridge to take part in the meeting at Peter- 
borough. These included Mr. J. M. Richardson, who 
twice won the Grand National on Disturbance and 



RACING BY LAND AND AIR 311 

Reugny respectively. He turned out to be one of 
the best gentleman jockeys known to history, though 
few could have prophesied such a lustrous career for 
him when he rode at the little hunt meeting at Peter- 
borough. The other three undergrads were Mr. 
Cecil, or ' Parson ' Legard, Lord Melgund, now the 
Earl of Minto, Viceroy of India, who rode as ' Mr. 
Roily,' and Lord Aberdour. They travelled from 
Cambridge in the morning, and were only too glad to 
get a mount of any kind. There is, I fear, too much 
of the solid business element about sport between 
the flags to hope for a revival of the spirit which 
actuated such men as these ; and without taking a 
too pessimistic view of the situation, it does not 
appear as though in the immediate future we shall 
see many of that stamp of old-fashioned amateur or 
military riders which was so conspicuous twenty, or 
even fifteen, years ago." 

At the Aldershot meeting in May 1906 occurred the 
sad fatality to Captain Meyricke. His horse twisted 
himself at a jump, and colliding with the hind quarters 
of Lieutenant Sherrard's horse, the two came down 
together. Captain Meyricke apparently falling on his 
head. It was the first time in thirty-five years that 
any serious accident had occurred at this meeting. 
In this race my eldest son rode the winner. 

Kozak gained another victory at Chelmsford in 
this year, carrying his owner in the Hunters' Steeple- 
chase. He repeated his success a little later in the 
Datchet Handicap Steeplechase at Windsor ; and 
also won the Household Brigade Hunters'Challenge 
Cup. 



312 FOKTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

The following year was a quiet one as far as racing 
was concerned ; and in 1908 I added one more to 
my ballooning experiences, being a passenger in Mr. 
Griffith Brewer's " Lotus," which won the Inter- 
national Race from Hurlingham. 

The account of the race may be best told in Mr. 
Brewer's own words : — 

" At last, after a busy day, all the balloons were 
inflated, and the little auxiliary balloon was attached 
to the side of ' Lotus,' and, in our turn, we were 
brought up to the starting mat, and carried to wind- 
ward in readiness to take our place after the de- 
parture of Count de La Vaulx. On weighing up, the 
Lotus was found to lift quite readily with five bags 
of ballast, each weighing about 351bs. 

" The winning-post had been chosen at Burchett's 
Green, three miles beyond Maidenhead ; and as by 
now the wind had considerably reduced in strength, 
the question of whether five bags of ballast would 
be sufficient to carry us a distance of about thirty 
miles, added another factor to the many governing 
the race. 

" At 3.50 p.m. we let go, and followed the other 
twenty-one balloons in front of us, on a course west 
of south-west, crossing the Thames over Putney 
Bridge, which was black with people ; and then con- 
tinuing over Barnes Common and Sheen Common, 
we passed Richmond, and crossed the Thames again 
over Messum's boathouse. Here we took our first 
reading, and made an accurate line upon the map, 
which showed that our course was too much to the 
south, and it would be necessary to rise into the 
current noticed earlier in the day, at a height of about 



J 



11 







}:: :^:i' 




p. 3U'] 



HURLINGHAM. 



RACING BY LAND AND AIR 313 

3,000 feet. At the same time it would not do to pass 
through that current if it proved to be very thin, 
and so we only threw a little ballast and rose slowly. 
As we progressed we found that our course first 
became due west, and west by north-west, and so it 
became a question of whether we could remain in 
the current or whether we should be obliged to sink 
below or rise above it. It was now that the ballast 
required the closest watching. Every tendency to 
dip down had to be checked, with sufficient ballast 
to prevent a descent, but not sufficient to make 
a quick rise ; and in this way we went on, gradually 
working up to our maximum height of 5,900 feet, at 
which altitude the course became due west again, 
showing that we had completely penetrated the 
intermediate current. Colnbrook was passed at 
5.30, and then Slough came in sight in the distance, 
and it was not till now that we realized we were 
immediately above Ditton Park, the lovely seat 
of the donor of the cup which all aeronautical 
Europe was struggling for. We scooped a little 
sand down to Lord Montagu for luck, and the 
Thames, which had appeared to bend towards us 
from Windsor, slightly turned aside again towards 
Boveney. 

" The race now became exciting, because our line of 
direction was so good that we hoped to see Burchett's 
Green, and if we could only work a little more north 
we should then be able to utilize the lower current, 
and possibly fall near the actually selected spot. We 
found, however, that we had made as much northerly 
progress as was possible ; and shortly after crossing 
the Thames at Maidenhead, we could distinguish the 



314 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

white cross in a field opposite Burchett's Green, still 
considerably to the north. 

" All the balloons we had seen on this journey were 
away to the south, and nobody seemed to be in sight 
at all. We did not suspect that the Valkyrie was 
already on the ground, and only one and a quarter 
miles south of the winning cross. We therefore came 
down with moderate speed by opening the valve, 
knowing that the longer we took to descend, the more 
out of our course we should be carried by the lower 
current. The question of whether we landed 200 
yards or so farther from the winning cross did not 
then seem to be of importance, as we appeared to have 
the race to ourselves, and so I did not descend as 
I should have done had I known that another com- 
petitor had landed, and quickly deflated to obliterate 
his position. As we neared the ground we saw a 
crowd of people to our left, but for the moment we 
did not associate this collected crowd with one of the 
descents of the balloons, because we thought it was 
simply a crowd that had collected in the neighbour- 
hood of Burchett's Green waiting for the balloon to 
come along. A few minutes later our car came to the 
ground — namely, at 6.56, in a field in the parish of 
Hurley, which is the parish containing the winning- 
post. The field which we struck contained a crop 
of beans, and, not wishing to damage them, we were 
carried immediately from the beans into a grass field 
near by, where the deflation was quickly efiected." 

Last year I again accompanied Mr. Brewer, this 
time in the " Vivienne,'' in the International Point 
to Point race instituted by the Aero Club. 

Before starting I expressed a wish that instead of 



RACING BY LAND AND AIR 315 

making Tye Common the goal, Boreham House, with 
its beautiful lakes, which would be visible for many 
miles, would be far preferable, and make it easier 
for those who had a lesser knowledge of the country 
than myself. I also stated that when we got into a 
higher altitude than the small pilot balloons were in, 
when seen leaving Hurlingham, we should get the 
breeze a bit more from the south, and so get blown 
north of Billericay. My deductions proved correct. 

At the rate we were travelling we could easily have 
done the extra seven miles, and packed our envelopes, 
netting, etc., by daylight. At one time we could 
count ten balloons, not including our own ; the 
year before double the number were visible when 
half the journey was covered. 

When over Pyrgo Park we were within talking 
distance of the " Valkyrie," which was a good second 
to the " Lotus " in the previous year, and a good deal 
of aerial badinage passed between the pilots. Sud- 
denly Mr. Pollock, who had with him Princess Blucher 
and Mrs. Assheton Harbord, shouted, " WeVe run 
out of ballast ! " and they at once commenced to 
descend — in fact we could see them bumping away 
almost immediately below. Though they landed 
several miles from the goal they were within measur- 
able distance of winning a prize. 

The highest altitude we reached was a fraction 
over 7,000 feet. Our descent was in a fallow field. 
We narrowly missed the brickwork over a well ; and 
while rising diagonally over a belt of trees the trail rope 
fouled them ; but shortly afterwards we succeeded in 
landing comfortably in a grass field about 300 yards 
from Writ tie Park. 



316 FORTY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

In July, last year, I took part in the Hare and 
Hounds Aerial Race, as a passenger in Baroness Von 
Hercheren's " L'Esperance," piloted by Mr. Brewer. 

This year I have been up twice, both times from 
Hurhngham in the " St. Louis," piloted by John 
Dunville, whose wife accompanied us on each 
occasion. The first was a long distance race, in 
which we were second, the winner being the Hon. 
Mrs. Assheton Harbord. We came down at Tatting- 
stone, in Suffolk, where we were most hospitably 
entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Kerrison. Curiously 
enough, in the second race, a point-to-point, the 
positions were exactly reversed, Mrs. Harbord coming 
in second, and ourselves first. On this occasion we 
made our descent at Purleigh, six miles from my 
house. 

The present year has seen a complete revolution in 
the art of aerial navigation, and the recent sensational 
achievements of M. Paulhan and Mr. Grahame- White 
have astonished those who, like myself, were inclined 
to scout the much-talked-of " Conquest of the Air." 
It only goes to show how unsafe a thing it is to pro- 
phesy about anything in this world. 

Personally, I hope to do a lot more ballooning yet, 
and perhaps a little aeroplaning as well. The latter 
would add a zest to the rest of my sporting experi- 
ences, and perhaps provide me with a new sensation 
— who knows ? 

But it may be thought that I ought to be getting 
past the time when a man may expect to enjoy " new 
sensations." The rather saddening reflection that 
there may, in the ordinary course of nature, come a 
time when I shall have to address myself to tamer 



RACING BY LAND AND AIR 317 

pursuits than steeplechasing and other more or less 
hazardous forms of sport, has flashed unwelcome 
across my mind once or twice of late years. 

Still it will be my endeavour, after the example 
of not a few good men I have known and heard of, 
to see the thing out, and in the world of sport, like 
them, to drink " life to the lees." 

What the public will think of a man who has not 
fully sown his wild oats, though over sixty years of 
age, and of a life which has been almost entirely given 
up to various sports and adventures in all parts of the 
world, is not for me to predict. It may be that the 
verdict will be that such a life has been chiefly mis- 
spent, for it is an age rather devoted to the carking 
cares, the ceaseless anxieties, and the restlessness of 
business than to exploit and adventure ; and in the 
*' getting and spending," in the piling up — as well as in 
the losing — of fortunes, that the powers and thoughts 
of very many of us are centred. Such things indeed 
must be ; a drone myself, so far as the strictly 
work-a-day and commercial side of life is concerned, 
I fully recognise this. It would not do for us to be 
steeplechasers and balloonists all. Yet there are 
many who share with me this belief in sport, in its 
even more robust and adventuresome side, as 
necessary to the development and prowess of the 
rising generation of Englishmen; and they, at any 
rate, will perhaps regard with leniency some of the 
escapades herein set forth with all endeavour to avoid 
exaggeration and inaccuracy. 

In conclusion, I will admit that the extreme fre- 
quency with which the first person singular has come 
to the surface throughout these reminiscences has 



318 FOETY YEARS OF A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE 

somewhat discomforted me once or twice. But in 
a book of this kind it is not possible to altogether 
avoid conveying the impression of being rather an 
egoist. It has been a real pleasure to turn from my 
own doings to those of the host of sportsmen and 
good fellows whose ways have, from time to time, 
been my ways. If anything has been related of 
these comrades likely to give unintentional pain, I 
trust they may pass an act of oblivion, and I ask 
them to feel assured that nothing has been set down 
in malice. For the rest — 

" What is writ, 
Would it were worthier ! " 



Printed by Bazell, Watson £ Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury. 



A "Book for EVerp Thinker 

My German Year 

BY 

I. A. R. WYLIE 

Author of "The Rajah's People" 
J^u/fy Illustrated. lOS. 6di net 



IN "My German Year" I. A. R. Wylie has added a 
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classes, her unprejudiced and sympathetic insight have 
made it possible for her to say much that is new and 
interesting on an old subject. Where others have dealt 
with statistics and politics she has penetrated down to 
the character and spirit of the people themselves, and 
revealed there the source of their greatness, their aims 
and ideals. Written in a pleasant, almost conversational 
style, with many reminiscences and anecdotes, " My 
German Year" is yet inspired with a serious purpose — 
that of bringing about a better understanding and appre- 
ciation of the German character ; and certainly those who 
have wandered with the author through town and country, 
from the Black Forester's hut to the Imperial Palace, 
must feel that they have seen their cousins in another, 
truer, and more sympathetic light. 



MILLS & BOON, Ltd., 49 RUPERT STREET, W. 



' Why are so many Jesus men called Jones ? " 

The Romance of 
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BY 

FRANCIS GRIBBLE 

With Photog7-avure Frontispiece and Sixteen other Illustrations 
Croxun 'ivo, 6S. 



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Oxford Magazine. — " Mr. Gribble has wisely ignored all that is 
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Granta (^Cambridge). — " This vastly entertaining book will appeal 
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Pall Mall Gazette. — "Mr. Gribble has a delightful style and a 
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MILLS & BOON, Ltd., 49 RUPERT STREET, W. 



A Catalogue of Books 

published by 

Mills & Boon Ltd. 

49, RUPERT STREET, LONDON, W. 

(Close to Piccadilly Circus Tube Station.) 

COLONIAL Editions are issued of all Messrs. Mills 
& Boon's Novels, and of most of their books in 
General Literature. 
In the case of forthcoming books the approximate 
published prices are given. In some cases these may 
be altered before publication. 

The Catalogue is divided into two sections : the first 
(pages 1-22) contains announcements of books to be 
published during the Summer and Autumn of 1910, and 
the second (pages 23-32) contains the books published 
before July i, 19 10. 



AUTUMN ANNOUNCEMENTS. 

The Parson's Pleasance. 

By P. H. DITCHFIELD, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.S.L., 
F.R.Hist.S., Author of "The Old-time Parson," etc. 
With 27 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 

The lighter studies of a literary clergyman usually 
find many readers. Mr. Ditchfield's name is well known 
as the author of many books which have attracted a 
large circle of admirers. He has written numerous 
works on history, architecture, and archaeology, and 
achieved fame with his delightful volumes on " The 
Parish Clerk " and the clerics of olden days. In the 
present volume he discourses pleasantly on many sub- 
jects, and includes in his Pleasance the charms of his 
old rectory garden, the delights of old books, the at- 
tractions of the village folk, their customs and super- 
stitions. He trots out his own hobby-horses — and there 
are several in his stable — and discourses on the quaint 



2 Mills 6c Boon's Catalogue 

waj's of some of his revered predecessors. He has 
culled some flowers from foreign travel, and gathered 
in his Pleasance many choice plants. The book will 
appeal to many and various tastes, and is well illustrated. 

Wagner at Home. 

Fully translated from the French of Judith Gautier by 
EFFIE DUNREITH MASSIF. With 12 Illustrations. 
Dem)' 8vo. los. 6d. net. 

Even had Wagner never been heard of as a composer, 
the charm and intimate nature of this book would have 
made it fascinating. Judith Gautier, talented daughter 
of a famous father, has given here a picture of the 
Wagner household at its most interesting period — at 
the time when Wagner, driven into exile by the veno- 
mous onslaughts of his detractors, lived in retirement 
near Lucerne. Cosima Liszt (at the time still Frau von 
Bulow) shared this solitude, and by her strong and 
sympathetic personality aided in the accomplishment 
of his work. The writer, in a style both vivid and 
charming, has immortalised the summer days which 
she and a little company of French disciples passed 
with Wagner in this environment ; touching lightly 
and feelingly upon the domestic problems and inspiring 
the reader with her own enthusiastic partisanship. The 
book is full of entertaining and humorous incidents 
and characteristic anecdotes told at first hand about 
Wagner and his illustrious guests. The translator has 
successfully preserved the author's infectious enthusiasm 
of style. 

Yvette Guilbert : Struggles and Victories. 

By YVETTE GUILBERT and HAROLD SIMPSON. 
Profusely illustrated with Caricatures, Portraits, Fac- 
similes of letters, etc. Demy 8vo. 105. 6d. net. 

The history of Yvette Guilbert's career is one of 
extreme fascination. The story of how she climbed, 
past innumerable difficulties, to the unique position 
which she holds to-day, possesses elements of positively 



Autumn Anaouncements, 1910 3 

absorbing interest. The greatest of her discouragements 
came from her family. They implored her to give 
up the idea of singing. Her first engagement was a 
failure, because the management was frightened at 
the originality of her method and songs. A few years 
afterwards the same management offered her a fabulous 
salary to sing the very same songs. 

When she came to England, in 1894, she took London 
by storm. Public and critics raved about her. Yvette 
Guilbert in her long black gloves was a name to conjure 
with. 

Madame Guilbert's story of her early struggles and 
victories, of her conquest of her critics, and of her final 
triumph in the art which she has made so peculiarly her 
own, is an intensely human document that cannot fail 
in its appeal to a very wide public, ajtd will appear in 
the original French. A complete translation of this, 
together with a critical record of Madame Guilbert's 
life by Harold Simpson, will also be included. 

My German Year. 

By I. A. R. WYLIE, Author cf " The Rajah's People." 
With 2 Illustrations in Colour and 18 from Photographs. 
Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 

In " My German Year " I. A. R. Wylie has added a 
striking and absorbing volume to the list of books which 
have been written on Germany and the Germans. 
The author's long and intimate acquaintance with the 
people whom she has set out to describe, her close, 
first-hand knowledge of the conditions in all the different 
classes, her unprejudiced and sympathetic insight have 
made it possible for her to say much that is new and 
interesting on an old subject. Where others have 
dealt with statistics and politics she has penetrated 
down to the character and spirit of the people them- 
selves, and revealed there the source of their greatness, 
their aims and ideals. Written in a pleasant, almost 
conversational style, with many reminiscences and 
anecdotes, " My German Year " is yet inspired with 



4 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

a serious purpose — that of bringing about a better 
understanding and appreciation of the German char- 
acter, and certainly those who have wandered with the 
author through town and country, from the Black 
Forester's hut to the Imperial Palace, must feel that 
they have seen their cousins in another, truer, and 
more sympathetic light. 

Forty Years of a Sportsman's Life. 

By SIR CLAUDE CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY, Bart. 
With 1 8 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. io5. 6d. net. 

Steeplechasing, Ballooning, Boxing, Big-Game Shoot- 
ing, or acting as War Correspondent, they all come 
alike to Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, whose life 
has been one long series of adventures by land, sea, and 
air. There is probably no man living who has a greater 
contempt for danger of any kind than Sir Claude. As 
a horseman he has probably not half a dozen superiors 
in the world ; while his chapter of accidents is long 
enough to fill a book. 

Starting life in the Navy, he eventually entered the 
Army, and saw service in India, where, incidentalty, 
he won many a famous steeplechase. When the Franco- 
German War broke out he tried to get to the front, 
and was nearly arrested as a German spy. In 1889, 
at the time of the Dervish Raid, he went as a volunteer 
to Egypt, finally acting as war correspondent ; was 
through the Boer War, and took part in the Sotik 
Punitive Expedition in East Africa. 

The story of his adventures and the yarns he has 
to tell of the interesting people he has met in many 
lands make very enthralling, not to say " racy," 
reading. 



The Story of the British Navy. 

By E. KEBLE CHATTERTON, Author of " Sailing 
Ships." Fully illustrated. Demy Svo. los. 6d. net. 

An attempt has been made in this book to tell in 
non-technical language for the interest of the general 



Autumn Announcements, 1910 5 

reader the story of the British Navy from the earliest 
times up to the present day. To the sons and daughters 
of an island race, to the subjects of a Sailor-King, 
whose Empire stretches beyond the Seas, such a story 
as that of the greatest Navy of the world cannot fail 
to be read with the keenest enthusiasm. It has been 
the object of the author to relate within the limits of 
a volume of moderate dimensions the fascinating 
evolution of the " mightiest ocean-power on earth." 
If it be true, as Tennyson says, that England's all-in-all 
is her Navy, if our island and our Empire are dependent 
so thoroughly on a fleet in being, it is not necessary to 
point out the demands which such a book as this should 
make on the attention of all who respect the British 
Flag. Those who read and enjoyed Mr. Chatterton's 
big volume on the history of the Sailing-Ship will ap- 
preciate this present book, which, besides its wealth of 
interesting historical detail (the result of considerable 
research), is full of exciting and inspiriting sea-fights 
and adventures. Well illustrated with pictures both 
ancient and modern, this is just the book to give to any 
boy or man who has the slightest affection for the sea 
and a loyal devotion to his Motherland. 

A Century of Ballads (1810—1910), Their 
Composers and Singers. 

By HAROLD SIMPSON. Fully illustrated. Demy 8vo. 
los. 6d. net. 

The story of popular songs, how they were written, 
their singers and their composers, is one which appeals 
to a very wide public, other than the purely musical. 

In this book Mr. Simpson, after outlining the earlier 
history and vicissitudes of English song, deals with 
the songs and singers whose names have been " house- 
hold words " for the past fifty years. 

There is a great deal of romance attaching to the 
subject of popular song ballads, and anecdotes of 
composers and singers abound in this work, which is 
written entirely from a popular and non-critical stand- 



6 MiUs & Boon's Catalogue 

point. The countless thousands who have hstened to 
and dehghted in SulHvan's " Lost Chord," for instance, 
have probably no idea of the circumstances under 
which it came to be written ; and the same may be said 
of a host of other songs that have been sung in almost 
every home throughout the country. 

The book is profusely illustrated with portraits of 
composers and singers, past and present, and contains 
several original fascimiles of well-known songs. 



Swiss Mountain Climbs. 

By GEORGE D. ABRAHAM, Author of " British 
Mountain CUmbs," " The Complete Mountaineer." 
Illustrated with Photographs and Diagrams. Pocket 
size. Waterproof Cloth. Uniform with " British Moun- 
tain Climbs." 7s. 6d. net. 

The average mountaineer who wishes to visit the 
Swiss Alps usually experiences great difficulty in select- 
ing a suitable district for his holiday. In this book 
all the leading centres are dealt with, and the attractions 
they offer are plainly set forth. Up-to-date and reliable 
descriptions are given of the routes up all the most 
important peaks, whilst the principal passes are dealt 
with. The work, which is largely the result of personal 
experience and exploration, will be found especially 
helpful for those who have passed the novitiate stages 
and wish to know something of suitable expeditions 
for guideless attempts. 

The ascents are grouped around the various centres, 
and the best maps for these are noted. Instead of 
graduated lists of courses the guides' tariffs for each 
district are included. These give a capital idea of the 
varying difficulties of the courses, and will be found 
enlightening in other ways. For instance, the cost of 
climbing so many peaks can be reckoned beforehand ; 
the expensive districts stand revealed. A great deal 
of practical information is given on other points. 

Especial attention has been bestowed on the illus- 
trations ; the bulk of these are entirely new, and pre- 
pared especially for this work. Numerous line drawings 



Autumn Announcements, 1910 7 

showing the principal routes help to add finish to a 
copiously illustrated book, which is of such size that it 
can be carried anywhere in the climber's pocket — a 
practical, useful, and interesting companion. 

Home Life in Ireland. 

By ROBERT LYND. Illustrated from photographs. 
Third and Popular Edition, with a New Preface. Crown 
8vo. 65. 

Spectator. — "Mr. Lynd has written an entertaining and in- 
forming book about Ireland. On the whole, he holds the balance 
between North and South, minister and priest, and the various 
oppositions which are to be found in the country with an even 
hand. There is a specially interesting chapter on ' Marriages 
and Match-making.' We naturally have said more about points 
of difference than about points of agreement ; but our criticisms 
do not touch the real value of the book. It is the work of a close 
and interested observer." 

The German Spy System in France. 

Translated from the French of Paul Lanoir. Crown 8vo. 
5s. net. 

The aim of the author is to open the eyes of his 
countrymen in France to the baneful activity of German 
spies in their midst, and to endeavour to stimulate 
public opinion to take the necessary counter-measures. 
The genesis and development are traced of the up-to- 
date and highly organised secret service now maintained 
by Germany. This service performs the double function 
of " political action " and spying proper, the former 
including the subsidisation of strikes and the propa- 
gation of anti-militarism in foreign countries, and the 
whole organisation is a striking example of German 
thoroughness. The features of the present organisation 
are described in considerable detail : many sidelights 
are thrown on famous historical personages, and the 
numerous episodes narrated are full of human interest. 
The book gives food for much anxious thought on the 
part of citizens of countries in the neighbourhood of 
the Kaiser's dominions. The possibility of the applica- 



8 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

tion in England of methods similar to those whose 
successful working in France is here described can 
scarcely fail to suggest itself to the reader. Many little 
incidents, personally observed or reported in the daily 
press, assume an entirely new and interesting significa- 
tion in the light of the revelations of this work, and a 
perusal of its pages is not unlikely to leave many 
readers in doubt whether their previous scorn of " spy 
mania " was based on altogether adequate knowledge. 

Ships and Sealing Wax. 

By HANSARD WATT. With 40 illustrations by L. R. 
BRIGHTWELL. Crown 4to. 3s. 6d. net. 

" Ships and Sealing Wax " is a volume of light verse 
by Hansard Watt, author of " Home-Made History," 
" Through the Loopholes of Retreat," etc. Mr. Watt's 
verses are well known to magazine readers, and the 
present volume contains many of his contributions to 
Punch. As the discerning will gather from the title, 
" Ships and Sealing Wax " deals with " many things." 
The book is delightfully illustrated by L. R. Brightwell, 
and makes one of the best presents of the season. 

The Children's Story of Westminster Abbey. 

By Miss G. E. TROUTBECK. Author of " Westminster 
Abbey " (Little Guides). Illustrated. Popular Edition. 
CrowTi 8vo. IS. net. 

Scotsman. — " A volume with many merits as a gift-book for 
the young is ' The Children's Story of Westminster Abbey,' of 
which the author is G. E. Troutbeck. It is attractivel}' written, 
and contains many splendid photographs. Its chief object is to 
point out to British children how they may follow the great 
outlines of their country's history in Westminster Abbey, from 
the days of the far-off legendary King Lucius." 

The presentation edition at 5s. net can still be had, 
and makes a beautiful present for children. 



Pocket Tip Books, 1910 g 

MILLS & BOON'S 
POCKET TIP BOOKS. 

The Motorist's Pocket Tip Book. 

By GEOFFREY OSBORN. Fully illustrated. 5s. net. 

The author of this book, an engineer by profession, 
has had a large and varied experience of all types of 
cars in several countries. He has compressed his 
knowledge into the pages of this book in such a manner 
that the points required to be elucidated can instantly 
be found, and if further explanation be required, the 
reader has only to turn to the chapter immediately 
preceding to find the reasons why and wherefore. 

To make this book of the utmost possible value the 
publishers have produced it in a hancly pocket size and 
the author has added pages for memoranda, telephone 
numbers, maintenance charges, and the points about 
his car which no motorist can keep in his head, such as 
the engine and chassis numbers, French number plates, 
etc., so that on the score of utility and appearance it 
need never be out of the motorist's pocket. 

The Golfer's Pocket Tip Book. 

By the Authors of " The Six Handicap Golfer's Com- 
panion." Fully illustrated. 55. net. 

" The Golfer's Pocket Tip Book " provides for the 
player who is " off " his game, a source whence he 
may extract remedies for those faults of whose existence 
he is only too well aware, but for which he has hitherto 
been unsuccessful in finding either a preventive or a 
cure. The book contains some sixty photographs 
illustrating the essential points of the golfing stroke, 
and on the opposite page will be found a few short 
sentences to explain those points to which the photo- 
graphs are intended to call attention. 

The various strokes depicted have each been chosen 
with the definite object of demonstrating some one 
faulty action, maybe of hand or foot ; and in many 



lo Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

cases both the correct and faulty methods have been 
illustrated and explained. It is a recognised fact that 
correct " timing " rather than physical strength makes 
for success in golf ; therefore great stress has been 
laid both on the methods of playing which conduce to 
efficiency in this respect and on those which prevent 
it. Thus a complete series will be found in illustration 
of perfect foot-action and the particular function of 
hand, wrist, and body. 

Special attention has been bestowed on the art of 
putting, and the series of photographs relating thereto 
is more complete than any which has as yet been pre- 
sented to the student of golf. The accompanying 
words of wisdom emanate from Jack White, who both 
in theory and practice excels all others in this depart- 
ment of the game. 



COMPANION SERIES. 



New Volumes. 



The Aviator's Companion. 



By D. and HENRY FARM AN and Others. 
25. 6d. net. 



Crown 8vo. 



If the public who follow Aviation as a whole would 
take the trouble to follow the records of the various 
makes of machines, they would be struck with the 
practically complete immunity from accidents which 
attends pilots of the Farman aeroplanes, and they would 
also notice that when one Farman aeroplane is beaten 
it is usually by another of -the same make, to wit, the 
London to Manchester flight. This book, besides 
appealing to the " man in the street," contains Farman's 
Theory of Flight. 

The Food Reformer's Companion. 

By EUSTACE MILES. M.A. Crown 8vo. 2S. 6d. net. 

The latest and most up-to-date work on diet from 
the pen of Mr. Eustace Miles. The author's knowledge 



Companion Series, 1910 r i 

and bright style make the book exceptionally authori- 
tative and interesting. 

Every phase of Food Reform is touched upon, and 
the touch is always that of the practical expert. 

The book is made still more helpful by the inclusion 
of new and carefully graded recipes in Progressive 
Non-Flesh Cookery by an expert chef. There are also 
valuable practical hints for beginners on such all- 
important matters as " What to avoid," " What to 
eat," " Quantities of Food," " How many meals a 
day," etc. 

The Lady Motorist's Companion. 

By" AFOUR-INXHDRIVER." Crown 8 vo. 2s.6fi.net. 
This book, written mainly for women, is also useful 
to men. The chapter on " Buying a Second-hand Car " 
explains exhaustively how to find out the amount 
of wear and tear, and will prevent the purchaser being 
"done." 

The Householder's Companion. 

By F. MINTON. Crown 8vo. zs. 6d. net. 

The Dramatic Author's Companion. 

By " A THEvVTRICAL MANAGER'S READER." With 
an Introduction by ARTHUR BOURCHIER. Crown 8vo. 

2s. 6d. net. 

The Fisherman's Companion. 

By E.LE BRETON MARTIN. Crown 8vo. 2s.6cZ.net. 

The Nursery Nurse's Companion. 

Compiled by HONNOR MORTEN, Aiithor of "The 
Nurse's Dictionary," etc. Crown 8vo, paper wrapper, 
15. net ; cloth, is. 6d. net. 

This book is mainly designed to help the would-be 
nurse and the would-be trainer of nurses. But it may 
prove of use to those who have gained their experience 
in the nursery, but would gladly bring their knowledge 
up-to-date. 



12 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

EDUCATIONAL PUBLICATIONS 

A First School Chemistry. 

By F. M. OLDHAM, B.A., Master at Dulwich College ; 
late Scholar of Trinity Hall, Cambridge ; Author of 
" The Complete School Chemistry." With 71 Illustra- 
tions. Crown 8vo. 25. 6d. 

The object of this book is to provide a sound elemen- 
tary course of practical and theoretical chemistry up 
to the standard of the Oxford and Cambridge Junior 
Local Examination and of the Second Class Examina- 
tion of the College of Preceptors. The instructions 
for^carrying out each experiment are followed by ques- 
tions. In order to answer these questions the pupil 
must think about the essential points of the experiment. 
Special features of the book are the placing first in each 
chapter of the practical work, which is followed by the 
theoretical work in continuous form, and the diagram- 
matic character of the figures, which are such as can be 
reproduced by the pupils. The book is admirably 
adapted to lead up to the same Author's " Complete 
School Chemistry," now in its Fourth Edition. 

Preparatory Arithmetic. 

By F. C. BOON, Principal Mathematical Master at 
Dulwich College. Crown 8vo, is. Answers, with hints 
on the solution of a number of the problems, 6d. net. 

The author has here kept in sight the importance of 
teaching all the fundamental processes by such methods 
as will not have to be unlearned later, and in such quan- 
tities that no process will be found too difficult. Recent 
developments of arithmetical methods {e.g. the use of con- 
tracted methods and of the decimalised form of £ s. d.) 
as well as facility in quick and approximately correct 
mental calculation are the chief features of the course. 

A PubHc School Arithmetic. 

By F. C. BOON. Crown 8vo. With or without answers, 
35. 6d. 

This book provides a thorough grounding in the 
principles of arithmetic. It is based on the same general 



Educational Publications, 1910 13 

foundations as the Preparatory School Arithmetic, 
but meets the requirements of the latest developments 
of arithmetical teaching for the University and Civil 
Service Examinations. 

A New School Geometry. 

By RUPERT DEAKIN, M.A., Balliol College, Oxford, 
and London University. Crown 8vo. is. 

Practical Mathematics. 

By W. E. HARRISON, A.R.C.S.. Principal of the 
Handsworth Technical College. With 2 Plates and 
90 Diagrams. Crown 8vo. With answers, is. 6^. With- 
out answers, is. ^d. 

A carefully graduated course beginning with measure- 
ments and calculations based on them, and forming a 
sound introduction to the work of the Technical Schools. 
The course covers the Board of Education Syllabus of 
" Practical Mathematics and Practical Drawing " as 
given in the " Preliminary Course for Trade Students," 
also the work for the Lancashire and Cheshire and 
Midland Counties Union Preliminary Technical Certi- 
ficates. 

Rural Arithmetic with Household Accounts. 

By RUPERT DEAKIN, M.A., and C. J. HUMPHREYS, 
B.Sc, of the Central Secondary and Evening Continuation 
Schools, Birmingham. With many diagrams. Crown 
8vo. IS. 

A course of commercial arithmetic to meet the new 
schemes for the evening continuation schools. 

A Practical Course in First Year Physics. 

By E. T. BUCKNELL, F.C.S., Headmaster of Kings- 
holme School, Weston-super-Mare, and late Science 
Master at St. Philip's Grammar School and the P.T. 
Centre, Birmingham. With 85 Illustrations. Crown 
Svo. IS. 

This course is intended to provide a thorough ground- 
ing in the elements of physics. It covers the syllabus 
for the Leaving Certificate and Army Qualifying 
Examination. 



14 Mills 6t Boon's Catalogue 

MILLS & BOON'S 
SUMMER NOVELS. 

Margaret Rutland. 

By THOMAS COBB, Author of " The Anger of OHvia." 
Crown 8\-o. 65. 

Nobody, in Margaret Rutland's case, seemed to 
remember that " still waters run deep." It did not 
occur to those who ought to have known her best, 
how delicately some perfectly natural longings were 
hidden behind the calm surface. She went her way : 
tranquil, charitable, unsatisfied, until fate met her in 
the person of Gilbert Hammett, who was by several 
3^ears her junior. 

Gilbert, unfortunately, had known Prudence Farmar, 
as well as much trouble, before he crossed Margaret 
Rutland's path ; and though this was strewed with 
primroses in the beginning, there was a multitude of 
prophets to forecast its desolate end. 

But although this might not be such a brilliantly 
happy one as that of her friends Max Stainer and 
Christobel, it was by no means entirely miserable. If 
Margaret Rutland could have lived her life over again, 
it is certain she would not have chosen that Gilbert 
Hammett should have no part in it. 

The Honourable Derek. 

By R. A. WOOD-SEYS (Paul Cushing). Crown 8vo. 6s. 

" The Honourable Derek " is a novel of delight. The 
scene is laid in England and America, and concerns a 
witty young Englishman and a brilliant American 
woman. " The Honourable Derek " bears the hall 
mark of literary genius, and is a novel full of surprises, 
capturing the reader's curiosity from the first to the 
last page. 



Summer Novels, 1910 15 

Two Men and Gwenda. 

By MABEL BARNES-CxRUNDY, Author of " Hilary on 
Her Own." Crown 8vo. 65. 

Mrs. Barnes-Grundy, who moved to laughter a large 
public with her " Vacillations of Hazel," has again 
touched the humorous note in her new novel, " Two 
Men and Gwenda " ; but this time there is pathos as 
well. 

Gwenda, a clever, gay, but very feminine and human 
country girl, marries a Londoner, a thorough man of the 
world. She loves him, but her smart environment irks 
her. They gradually drift apart. How she eventually 
wins through to happiness we leave Mrs. Barnes-Grund}' 
to relate. " Granty," with her wise sayings and pink 
shawl with bobs, is an old lady we would much like to 
meet. 

Laughter and tears alternate throughout the book, 
but the final note is laughter. 

The Girl from his Town. 

By MARIE VAX VORST, Author of " First Love," 
" In Ambush." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

In this altogether charming and delightful love story 
Miss Van Vorst has taken the young man out of a 
Montana mining town and dropped him down uncere- 
moniously in the midst of London's smart set. There 
he sees and hears and meets Lotty Lane, the reigning 
comic opera success. It is she who is the Girl from 
his Town. A clever and dashing story that will add to 
Miss Van Vorst 's already brilliant reputation. 

The Enemy of Woman. 

By WINIFRED GRAHAM, Author of " Mary." Crown 
8vo. 6s. 

To all lovers of fiction, a new novel by Winifred 
Graham is always welcome, and perhaps this, her last 
work, is more powerful than any which has preceded it. 



i6 



Mills 6t Boon's Catalogue 



Invariably she holds a theory of deeply seeking into 
character, while exposing modern evils. The raison 
d'etre of " The Enemy of Woman " is to portray what 
disastrous consequences are engendered by a mad 
desire for Woman's Suffrage, and the bad effects on 
home life of unbalancing feminine minds. The opening 
chapters are startlingly dramatic, with an admixture of 
tears and laughter, creating an intensely human interest. 
Various types of women, in this engrossing story, show 
what different forces of evil dog the footsteps of those 
who always crave to know the " reason why " of all 
restraint, and talk much nonsense about Women's 
Rights. The plot reveals how well-educated, and 
otherwise blameless, women may be led even to crime 
by this obsession. Winifred Graham is, above all, an 
idealist. Her book reveals the pain, horror, and aver- 
sion she cannot conceal, of womanhood being lowered 
and dragged through the mud by the Shrieking Sister- 
hood. She considers women ought to be on the side of 
the angels, not constantly straining after strife, and 
she never uses a worn-out model. 



I 



A fine NoVel. 

Rebecca Drew. 

By EDITH DART. Crown 8vo. 65. 

" Rebecca Drew " is a quiet, emotional tale, dealing 
with the lives and characters of country folk, with the 
exception of the Stranger. The story is filled with the 
atmosphere and feeling of the West country, where the 
scene is laid. The chief personages are Rebecca Drew 
and the man who suddenly appears in her life, and 
henceforward moulds it more or less unwillingly and 
unconsciously. They make a striking study in contrast : 
Rebecca, the strong, self-reliant woman, who has depths 
unplumbed, unguessed tenderness and passion beneath 
the surface, and the Stranger, an erratic, charming, 
gifted creature, " all things by turn and nothing long." 
How their lives meet, touch, part, and act upon one 
another is the theme of the novel. To the discerning 



Summer Novels, 1910 17 

reader the end is only apparent failure, since by suffering 
has come, to one at least of the pair, self-knowledge and 
life in the deepest sense. 

The Glen. 

By MARY STUART BOYD, Author of " Her Besetting 
Virtue," " The Man in the Wood." Crown 8vo. 65. 

The scene of this present-day novel is laid chiefly 
in a West Highland valley, into whose remote placidity 
drift distracting elements in the form of a group of 
London society people, and a Norwegian sailor whose 
disabled schooner is washed into the bay in a gale. 

The plot shows deft handling of strongly contrasted 
lives. The romantic fancy of Nannie for the phil- 
andering Englishman reveals girlish devotion to an 
imaginary ideal. The reluctant wooing of the caustic- 
tongued Elspie by her phlegmatic but persistent suitor 
is full of amusing situations and pithy dialogue, while 
the romance of Rachel Rothe and the Man from the 
Sea strikes the deep note of tragic passion. 

The male characters are widely diverse. The plausible 
gentleman of leisure, the brilliant Highland student 
with his dogged determination to win Civil Service 
honours, the greatly daring but simple and manly 
young Norwegian skipper, though true to life, are poles 
asunder. 

The novel opens and closes in the glen with its sentinel 
mountains and wave-beat shore. The intervening 
scenes take place in London and on board the Nor- 
wegian schooner the Skaal. Apart from its strong 
romantic interest, the novel is full of humorous char- 
acterisation. 

A brilliant first NoVet. 

Jehanne of the Golden Lips. 

By FRANCES G. KNOWLES-FOSTER. Illustrated 
in colour. Crown 8vo. 65. 

This fascinating love story of Queen Jehanne of 
Naples has a double interest. In it accurate history 



i8 



Mills 6c Boon's Catalogue 



and thrilling romance are deftly welded together so 
as to give us a splendidly human picture of Jehanne of 
Anjou, the wonderful Mary Stuart of the South, her 
heroism, her waywardness, her genius for dominion in 
her relations with every one, and of her courtiers, her 
enemies, and her one true love, Prince Louis of Taranto, 
whose wooing of her is more passionate and daring than 
Romeo's of Juliet. Their struggles between love and 
honour before the murder of Jehanne's first husband, 
Andrea of Hungary, make enthrahing reading. The 
author has caught the very spirit of fierce, luxurious, 
intriguing Naples of 1345, by culling direct from the 
Neapolitan archives the vivid details of such chronicles 
as that of Tristan Caracciolo, the noble scholar who 
heard the living Golden Lips charm all ears, and has 
dared to give an unvarnished account of the reckless 
gorgeous age, while remaining equally faithful to the 
historical facts. This is a feat which no other novelist 
on the subject has yet accomplished. There is also 
given a new and absorbingly interesting theory as to 
the Queen's share in her encumbering husl)and's murder, 
the tale of which is told in almost haunting fashion. 
Boccaccio's pleasant relations with the Queen, the 
audacious, almost successful plot of the Red Count of 
Savoy to carry her off, the rush of the Hungarian 
forces upon Naples, and the magnificent victory of 
Queen Jehanne and Prince Louis in the end, are only 
a few of the salient points to be mentioned at hazard 
in a book of which every page contains some exciting 
incident. 



The Sins of the Children. 

By HORACE W. C. NEWTE, Author of " Calico Jack," 
" Sparrows." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

In this remarkable novel Mr. Newte has deserted the 
byways of London life, and has gone to the world-old 
subject of filial ingratitude. It may be objected that 
the last word has been said on such a theme in " King 



Summer Novels, 1910 19 

Lear " and " Pere Goriot," but while these acknow- 
ledged masterpieces respectively deal with Kings and 
Princesses, and the denizens of smart life in the Paris 
of the Restoration, " The Sins of the Children," in 
depicting ordinary, everyday folk, should make a con- 
vincing appeal to the many who are moved by that 
considerable portion of the ironic procession in which 
average humanity lives, moves, and has its being. 
" The Sins of the Children " is in two parts ; the first 
deals with the youth and girlhood of a charming daugh- 
ter of the suburbs ; of her single-hearted, devoted 
father ; of her selfish absorption in lover and husband, 
and of the unhappy consequences of her neglect of one 
she should have loved and cherished. The second 
part deals with the motherhood of the heroine, and of 
her experiences with a selfish son, who, in oehaving to 
her as she did to her father, causes her to realise her 
own ingratitude, which gives rise to poignant and un- 
availing remorse. A romantic love story runs through 
the work, which also contains a variety of quaint char- 
acter studies. As " The Sins of the Children " will 
doubtless be read by every child and parent, it should 
make the widest of appeals 

Written in the Rain. 

By JOHN TREVENA, Author of " Granite." Crown 
8vo. 65. 

" Written in the Rain " is a volume of stories by this 
popular author. As they have all been written in that 
part of the country where it raineth every day, the title 
is not wholly inappropriate. There will be, in defiance 
of superstition, thirteen items : a problem story, an 
impossible story, two poignant reminiscences, two 
studies of different types of broken-down gentlemen, 
two tales of the imagination, a short comedy entitled 
" A Comet for Sale," three light Devonshire stories 
(Dartmoor), and a descriptive sketch, entitled " Matri- 
mony," of a wedding at Widdicombe in the early ages. 



20 Mills 6: Boon's Catalogue 

An Original LoVe Storff. 

The Valley of Achor. 

By MRS. PHILIP CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY, 
Author of " The Coming of Aurora." Crown 8vo. 65. 

" The Valley of Achor — or trouble — for a door of 
hope," is the quotation from Hosea from which this book 
takes its title. It is a story of modern days, so modern 
that recent events have prompted the main idea of the 
plot. Nigel Pitcairn returns from a voyage of explora- 
tion, and after an enthusiastic reception, is discredited, 
not only b}' the world at large, but by the woman he 
loves, and for whose sake moreover the dangers and 
hardships of his travels were undergone. As his creed 
has always been that man is master of his fate, he knows 
all will come right in the end, and only for one brief 
moment loses heart. 

How his good faith is finally proved, and his claims 
acknowledged, remains a mystery until nearly the end 
of the book. The characters of the two principal women 
are widely different, Portia Quinton, coldly logical, 
ambitious and self-centred, while Nancy Devenant is 
quite the reverse — slightly inconsequent, but with a 
heart of gold ; her brother Howard, a learned professor 
and Pitcairn's rival for Portia's favour, finally clears 
the latter's name in rather a curious manner. An 
enthusiastic golfer and his wife, among the minor 
characters, supply the lighter touches to the story. 



I 



A Golden Straw," 



The Pilgrimage of a Fool. 

By J. E. BUCKROSE, Author of 
etc. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Readers of " A Golden Straw " may recollect how 
superstition played a notable part in that fine story. 
In a measure perhaps they will again be reminded of 
that work in " The Pilgrimage of a Fool," which is 
the simple history of a commonplace soul. In it the 
secret longing of nearly every man's and woman's soul 
for " something more " becomes to a certain extent 
articulate. The hero's love story is interesting and 



Summer Novels, 1910 21 

sincere, while human pathos and folly jostle good 
thoughts in the book as they do in real life. The 
whole thing is curiously human even in its imperfections. 
Mills & Boon heartily recommend " The Pilgrimage 
of a Fool " as a novel that will please even the most 
critical reader, for its author has wit and humour and 
a knowledge of human nature which is not surpassed 
by any living novelist. 

The Island of Souls. A Sensational Fairy Tale. 

By M. URQUHART, Author of "A Fool of Faery." 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Blue-Grey Magic. 

By SOPHIE COLE, Author of " A Wardour Street 
Idyll." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

" Blue-Grey Magic " takes its name from some 
mysterious letters written on blue-grey paper to Hester 
Adean, whose sweet and gentle personality attracts 
" The Doctor," a strong, whimsical man, devoid of 
sentiment, and Stella Chase, an advanced modern girl 
of the extreme type. The situation between these 
persons and the story of Hester's development is told 
in that original way which readers of Miss Cole's novels 
naturally expect from her. The secret of the letters is 
well kept until the dramatic climax is reached. " Blue- 
Grey Magic " is a touching and human love story with 
a happy ending. It is certain to please the large circle 
of readers who found " Arrows from the Dark " and 
" A Wardour Street Idyll " so delightful. 

The Palace of Logs. 

By ROBERT BARR, Author of " Cardillac " and 
" The Sword Maker." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Body and Soul. 

By LADY TROUBRIDGE, Author of " The Woman 
who Forgot," "The Cheat," etc. Crown Svo. 6s. 

" Body and Soul " is a new long novel by Lady 
Troubridge, whose popularity is rapidly increasing. This 
is not surprising when it is remembered that Lady 



2 2 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

Troubridge writes with such easy grace and never, fails to 
give her readers a story of fascinating interest. 

813. 

By MAURICE LEBLANC, Author of " Arsene Lupin." 
Translated by ALEXANDER TEIXEIRA DE MATTOS. 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 

An entirely new " Arsene Lupin " adventure of 
absorbing interest, with never a dull page. 

Sport of Gods. 

By H. VAUGHAN-SAWYER. Crown 8vo. 65. 
A powerful Indian novel of modern life. 

With Poison and Sword 

By W. M. O'KANE. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
A dashing Irish romance. 

The Vanishing Smuggler. 

By STEPHEN CHALMERS. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
This is a fascinating tale of old smuggling days on the 
Scottish coast. Smuggle-erie and his reckless band, 
the old Coastguard, with his memories of Trafalgar 
and Nelson, dainty Grisel and the quaint village folk 
of Morag, are portrayed with a warmth of reality that 
is rare in fiction. 



SHILLING NET NOVELS. 

Sparrows, the Story of an 

Unprotected Girl. Horace W. C. Newte. 

The Adventures of Captain 

Jack. Max Pemberton. 

The Prodigal Father. J. Storer Clouston. 

D'Arcy of the Guards. L. E. Shipman. 

The novel of the Play at the St. James's Theatre. 



General Literature 23 

BOOKS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED 

GENERAL LITERATURE 
The Court of William IIL 

By EDWIN and MARION SHARPE GREW. With 
many Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 155. net. 
Times. — ' ' The authors have steered most dexterously between 
the solidity of history and the irresponsibility of Court bio- 
graphy. Their book consists of a number of character studies 
done with care and distinction ; it is a welcome change from 
the mass of literature whose only function is to revive the 
gossip and scandal centred round a throne. It is a series of 
portraits of the men and women whose lives were spent in 
making history." 

Morning Post. — " Done with fairness and thoroughness. . . . 
The book has many conspicuous merits." 

Rambles with an American. 

By CHRISTIAN TEARLE, Author of " Holborn Hill." 
Fully illustrated. los. 6d. net. 
Spectator. — " The idea of the book is good, and it is well 
carried out, and a reader, if he is of the right sort, will be greatly 
charmed with it." 

Morning Post. — " Delightful." 

Daily Chronicle. — "A happy idea. Originally conceived, 
well written, and entirely readable." 

My Thirty Years in India. 

By Sir EDMUND C. COX, Bart., Deputy Inspector- 
General of Police, Bombay Presidency. With 6 Illustra- 
tions. Demy Svo. 8s. net. 

An Art Student's Reminiscences 
of Paris in the Eighties. 

By SHIRLEY FOX, R.B.A. With illustrations by John 
Cameron. Demy Svo. los. 6d. net. 

Sporting Stories. 

By THORMANBY. Fully illustrated. Demy Svo. 
I05. 6d. net. 

Daily Express. — "Contains the best collection of anecdotes 
of this generation. It is a perfect mine of good things." 
Sporting Life. — " This vast storehouse of good stories." 



24 Mills <Sc Boon's Catalogue 

British Mountain Climbs. 

By GEORGE D. ABRAHAM, Author of " The Com- 
plete Mountaineer," Member of the Climbers' Club, etc., 
etc. Illustrated with Photographs and Diagrams. 
Pocket size. Waterproof cloth, ys. 6d. net. (See also 
p. 6.) 

Nature. — " Is sure to become a favourite among moun- 
taineers." 

Sportsman. — " Eminently a practical manual." 

A Manual for Nurses. 

By SYDNEY WELHAM, M.R.C.S. (Resident Medical 
Officer, Charing Cross Hospital). With Diagrams. 
Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net. 

In this work the aim of the author is to present a 
volume useful to all grades of Nurses, the various sub- 
jects being treated in a lucid and practical manner. 
Nursing, the first subject dealt with, is a section in 
itself ; the other subjects necessary for a Nurse to study 
during her training are dealt with seriatim — Anatomy 
and Physiology, in concise yet thorough chapters, con- 
taining all essential points without unnecessary and 
confusing details. 

The Romance of the Oxford Colleges. 

By FRANCIS GRIBBLE. With a Photogravure and 
16 full-page Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
Westminster Gazette. — " Does not contain a dull page." 
World. — " Very agreeable and entertaining." 
Daily Chronicle. — "Marvellously well-informed." 

The Bolster Book. A Book for the Bedside. 

By HARRY GRAHAM, Author of " Deportmental 

Ditties." With an illustrated cover by Lewis Baumer. 

Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Daily Chronicle. — "Humorists are our benefactors, and 

Captain Graham being not only a humorist, but an inventor 

of humour, is dearer to me than that ' sweet Tuxedo girl,' of 

a famous song, who, ' though fond of fun,' is ' never rude.' 

I boldly assume that Biffin, like ' the Poet Budge ' and Hosea 

Biglow, is a ventriloquist's doll — a doll more amusing than 

any figure likely to appear in the dreams of such dull persons 

as could be put to sleep by articulate laughter." 



General Literature 25 

Letters of a Modern Golfer to 
his Grandfather. 

Being the correspondence of Richard Allingham, Esq., 
arranged by HENRY LEACH. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
Outlook. — "There are many people who lack the energy to 
apply themselves to the study of a technical manual on any 
science or pastime, but who will readily absorb the requisite 
information when it is served up in the guise of fiction. A 
book in which the human interest is as marked as the practical 
instruction. Young Richard Allingham is something of a 
philosopher as well as being an independent theorist of the 
game of games. He also makes a nice lover. Hence we have 
in this volume all the factors which give charm to the life of 
the links. The volume will be an acquisition to the golfer's 
library." 

Auction Bridge. 

By ARCHIBALD DUNN. Containing the Revised Rules 

of the game. Handsomely bound in cloth and forming a 

companion volume to " Club Bridge." Crown 8vo. 5s. net. 

Sportsman. — " A study of this manual vnW profit them in 

knowledge and in pocket." 

Club Bridge. 

By ARCHIBALD DUNN, Author of " Bridge and How 

to Play it." Crown 8vo. 55. net. 
Evening Standard. — " This is, in fact, ' the book.' " 
Manchester Guardian. — " A masterly and exhaustive treatise." 

The Children's Story of Westminster Abbey. 

By Miss G. E. TROUTBECK, Author of " Westminster 
Abbey" (Little Guides). With 4 Photogravure Plates, 
and 21 Illustrations from Photographs. Crown 8vo. 
5s. net. (See p. 8.) 

The Children's Stor}?^ of the Bee. 

By S. L. BENSUSAN, Author of " Wild Life Stories." 
Illustrated by C. Moore Park. Crown 8vo. 5s. net. 

Deportmental Ditties. 

By HARRY GRAHAM, Author of " Ruthless Rhymes 
for Heartless Homes," etc. Illustrated by Lewis Baumer. 
Second Edition. Crown 4to. 3s. 6d. net. 

Times. — "Clever, humorous verse." 

Daily Graphic. — "Mr. Graham certainly has the knack." 



2 6 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

Through the Loopholes of Retreat. 

By HANSARD WATT. With a portrait of Cowper in 
photogravure. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net. 

Kings and Queens of France. 

A Concise History of France. 

By MILDRED CARNEGY. With a Preface by the 
Bishop of Hereford. With a Map and 4 full-page 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. 

Pure Folly : The Story of those Re- 
markable People The Follies. 

Told by FITZROY GARDNER. With a new song by 
H. G. Pelissier. Illustrated by Geoffrey Holme, 
Norman Morrow, Arthur Wimperis, John Bull, etc. 
Crown 4to. 2s. 6d. net. 

Popular Edition. Thirteenth Thousand 

The New Theology. 

By the Rev. R. J. CAMPBELL. Fully revised and with 
a new Preface. With a full account of the Progressive 
League, including the speeches of Hall Caine and Bernard 
Shav.'. Crown 8vo. 15. net. 

Votes for Women. A Play in Three Acts. 

By ELIZABETH ROBINS. Crown 8vo. is. 



MILLS & BOON'S 
COMPANION SERIES 

The Chauffeur's Companion. {Second Edition) 

By " A FOUR-INCH DRIVER." With 4 Plates and 
5 Diagrams. Waterproof cloth. Crown 8vo. 2s. net. 
Country Life. — " Written in simple language, but reveals in 
almost every line that the author is a master of his subject." 

The Gardener's Companion. 

By SELINA RANDOLPH. With an Introduction by 
Lady Alwyne Compton. Crown 8vo. 25. net. 
Daily Mail.-^" The author has had many years' experience 
of the round of duties in one of the most charming gardens in 
Kent ; but in this book she studiously puts herself in the place 
of the beginner, and her crowded chapters are well designed 
to help one who is starting in garden-m.aking." 



Companion Series 27 

The Six-Handicap Golfer's Companion. 

By " TWO OF HIS KIND." With chapters by H. S. 
Colt on Golf generally and Harold H. Hilton on 
Scientific Wooden Club Play. Fully illustrated (from 
photographs of Jack White and others). Crown 8vo. 
25. 6d. net. 
Golf Illustrated. — " The Author's aim is to teach inferior players 
how to reduce their handicaps to at least six. There is a great 
deal of sound advice in the book, and its value is greatly in- 
creased by two excellent chapters by Mr. H. H. Hilton and Mr. 
H. S. Colt." 

The Mother's Companion. 

By Mrs. M. A. CLOUDESLEY-BRERETON (Officier 
d'Academie). With an Introduction by Sir Lauder 
Brunton, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.S. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net. 

The Rifleman's Companion. 

By L. R. TIPPIXS. With 6 Illustrations. Crown Svo. 
IS. 6d. net. 

The author is well known as a skilled " Inter- 
national " shot, who has very exceptional facilities for 
experimental work. His knowledge of applied science, 
joined to long experience of rifle-making, has placed 
him in the front rank of rifle experts. 

The new book is practical, while not neglecting 
such knowledge of theory as is essential for useful 
practice, and shows the rifleman how to get the 
best work out of his weapon. 

The Poultry Keeper's Companion. 

By ARTHUR TYSILIO JOHNSON. With 60 Illus- 
trations. Crown Svo. 25. 6d. net. 
The aim of the author has been to cater for the 
amateur, small-holder and farmer. All the systems 
of utility poultry-farming are discussed : Incubation 
and Rearing, Egg Production, Laying Strains, Table 
Poultry, Markets and Marketing are exhaustively dealt 
with, and there is a description of the most useful 
breeds of poultry. Diseases are described with the 
treatment in each case. A part of the book is devoted 
to Duck Farming. 



MILLS & BOON'S 


FICTION 


LIST 


Crown 8vo. 6s. 


each. 


Orpheus in Mayfair . 


2 /id Edition 


Maurice Baring. 


Cardillac 


^th Edition 


Robert Barr. 


The Sword Maker 


2,rd Edition 


Robert Barr. 


A Golden Straw 


2nd Edition 


J. E. Buckrose. 


Render unto Caesar . 


. 


Mrs. Vere Campbell. 


The Bill-Toppers 


. 


Andre Castaigne. 


The Prodigal Father . 


^th Edition 


J. Storer Clouston. 1 


The Anger of Olivia . 


2nd Edition 


Thomas Cobb. 


Mr. Burnside's Responsi 


bility . 


Thomas Cobb. 


A Wardour Street Idyll 


. 


Sophie Cole. 


Arrows from the Dark 


. 


Sophie Cole. 


Fame . 


2,rd Edition 


B. M. Croker. 


The Education of Jacqueline 






2,rd Edition 


Claire de Pratz. j 


Elisabeth Davenay . 


2,rd Edition 


Claire de Pratz. i 


My Lady Wentworth 


. 


Allan Pea. 


Mary . 


4t/i Edition 


Winifred Graham. 


The End and the Beginning 3s. 6d. . 


Cosmo Hamilton. 


Brummell Again 


. 


Cosmo Hamilton. 


Margot Munro 


. 


M. E. Hughes. 


No. 19 . 


2 nd Edition 
28 


Edgar Jepson. 



MILLS & BOON'S FICTION LIST- continued. 



Bound Together . 2nd Edit ioti 
The Last Lord Avanley 

Mary up at Gaffrics . a^^^ Edition 

Calico Jack . . y'd Edition 
Draw in Your Stool 

Harm's Way 

The Stairway of Honour 2nd Edition 



Miss Pilsbury's Fortune 

When Love Knocks . 

The Veil 

HolbornHill . 

The Woman who Forgot 

The First Law 

The Cheat 

The Fool of Faery . 

Royal Lovers . 

First Love 

The King's Highway 

The Captain's Daughter 
Tess of Ithaca 
An Averted Marriage 
Memoirs of a Buccaneer 
The Rajah's People . 
A Blot on the Scutcheon 
For Church and Chieftain 



7//z Edition 



nd Edition 



nd Edition 

6th Edition 
2nd Edition 



Mary E. Mann. 

Gerald Maxwell. 

S. C. Nethersole. 

Horace W. C. Newte. 

Oliver Onions. 

Lloyd Osbourne. 

Maud Stepney Raw- 
son. 

Christine R. Shand. 

Gilbert Stanhope. 

E. S. Stevens. 

Christian Tearle. 

Lady Troubridge. 

Lady Troubridge. 

Lady Troubridge. 

M. Urquhart. 

Helene Vacaresco. 

Marie van Vorst. 

H. B. Marriott Wat- 
son 

Helen H. Watson. 

Grace Miller White. 

Percy White. 

Robert Williams. 

I. A. R. Wylie. 

May Wynne. 

May Wynne. 



MILLS * BOON'S 


THRILLING ADVENTURE LIBRARY 


Crown 8vo. 6s. 


each. 


The Lady Calphurnia Royal 


Albert Dorrington and 




A. G. Stevens. 


By Force of Circumstances 


Gordon Holmes. 


Arsene Lupin 


Edgar Jepson and j 




Maurice Leblanc. 


The Kingdom of Earth 2;/d Edition 


Anthony Partridge. 


The Adventures of Captain Jack 




T^rd Edition 


Max Pemberton. 


MILLS f^ BOON'S 


SHILLING NET 


LIBRARY 


The Veil 


E. S. Stevens. 


Peter Pan : His Book, His Pictures 




His Career, His Friends . 


G. D. Drennan. 


Mary ... ... 


Winifred Graham. 


The End and the Beginning 


Cosmo Hamilton. 


Arsene Lupin. Tlie Novel of tlie Play 


Edgar Jepson and 




Maurice Leblanc. 


Cumner's Son. Entirely New. Cloth 


Sir Gilbert Parker. 


Beware of the Dog. Entirely Neiv . 


Mrs. Baillie Reynolds. 


The Dollar Princess. The Novel oj 


f 


the Play .... 


Harold Simpson. 


For Church and Chieftain . 


May Wynne. 


Wee Macgrecgor .... 


J.J. B. 


Proofs Before Pulping 


Barry Pain. 


Thomas Henry 


W. Pett Ridge. 


Tales of King Fido . 


. J. Storer Clouston. 


The Diary of a Baby 

30 


. Barry Pain. 



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' • "> ''^♦'^nnary Medicine 
■ Medicine at